McKinley Phipps (born July 30, 1977), better known as Mac, is an American rapper and songwriter from New Orleans' 3rd Ward, and would grow to be one of the most critically acclaimed on Master P's No Limit Records, both as a solo rapper and as a member of the super group 504 Boyz. He also collaborated with rapper B.G. on the album Chopper City released in 1996.
Early Music career:
Mac was born Mckinley Phillips in New Orleans, Louisiana. He started his music career as a kid rapper in the year 1990. At 13 years old he made his solo debut album under the name of "Lil Mac", called The Lyrical Midget. The album was one of the earliest commercial hip-hop albums to come out of New Orleans, and featured some production from New Orleans producer Mannie Fresh. It was not very successful though Lil Mac would not be heard from for another 7 years.
Late 1990s: No Limit Records, Shell Shocked, and World War III:
In 1997, after rejecting an offer to move to New York and sign with Def Jam Records, Lil Mac changed his name to Mac and signed with Master P's No Limit Records. He toured with No Limit throughout the U.S. and Europe, and made guest appearances on many other artists' albums before releasing his own. He was featured on Master P's Ghetto D, Mystikal's Unpredictable, and Mia X's Unlady Like, among others. The next year, 1998, Mac released his second solo album and first with No Limit, Shell Shocked. The album is Mac's most commercially successful to date, reaching #11 on the Billboard 200. Mac again was featured on many other No Limit releases that year. In 1999 he released his second album on the label, World War III. While it was still on the label, this release differed from usual No Limit releases in that it was not exclusively produced by the production team Beats by the Pound, and featured only three guest spots from major No Limit names Master P, C-Murder, and Silkk the Shocker. The album did not fare as well commercially as his first No Limit release, peaking at #44 on the Billboard 200. Mac's musical style differed from many other Southern hip hop artists in this period, and he often displayed a level of lyrical complexity that has come to be associated with East Coast hip hop.
504 Boyz and Later Releases:
World War III would be Mac's last album released on No Limit and his last solo album to date, as he would be sentenced to a 30 year prison term in 2001. In 2000 he joined the group 504 Boyz, whose name was a reference to the area code 504. The group was a collective of other No Limit rappers such as Master P, Silkk the Shocker, and C-Murder. Mac was with their group for one album, 2000's Goodfellas, which went gold and reached #2 on the Billboard 200. He was featured prominently on the group's hit single "Wobble Wobble", rapping the first verse and the chorus. The song reached #17 on the Billboard Hot 100.
In 2007, while Mac was still serving his prison term, No Limit released the album The Lost Tapes, which consisted of unreleased material Mac recorded with the label.
On May 31, 2012, DJ 5150 released the mixtape "Uptown Veterans" which is compilation of Mac's greatest hits.
On September 21, 2001, Mac was convicted of manslaughter charges in the death of 22-year-old Barron C. Victor Jr. He is currently serving a 30-year-to-life prison term at Elayn Hunt Correctional Center in Louisiana (inmate number 445656).
In December 2014, Northwestern University's Medill Justice Project in partnership with The Lens published the results of a three-month investigation of Phipps' conviction, revealing that a key eye-witness at his trial now says that she was coerced into identifying Phipps as the shooter because of investigators' threats to charge her. Following Medill's investigation, The Huffington Post's David Lohr published the results of a four-month review of Phipps' conviction, further revealing that four other witnesses to the shooting told HuffPost they also were threatened, intimidated or outright ignored by investigators. Phipps' family has since obtained affidavits from many of the individuals in an effort to get him a new trial.
On March 25, 2015, nationally known rapper Michael Render, better known as Killer Mike, told students at Dillard University that it was unacceptable for authorities to use rap lyrics in the prosecution of Phipps. "If we let this stand, what you're going to see is that tool is going to be used to wipe out an entire potential generation of artists out of our community," Killer Mike told students gathered inside Cook Auditorium.
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license