Mac says he once saw East Coast rappers as “the real lyricists,” hopes renewed investigation will lead to “the truth.”
Incarcerated since 2001, New Orleans, Louisiana rapper Mac (real name McKinley Phipps, Jr.), recently had the opportunity to speak on his 30-year sentence, his passion for music, and more as part of a feature story published by XXLMag.com.
Mac was charged with manslaughter well over a decade ago despite there being no physical evidence against him, but could soon benefit from a renewed investigation spearheaded by The Medill Justice Project. In regards to the new investigation, the 37-year-old lyricist revealed that of all things he hopes for the truth to come out.
“I just hope that this [renewed investigation] leads to the eventual outcome, which is having the truth come out,” Mac said in a phone interview with XXL. “That’s what I’ve been advocating since I came here: the truth. Hopefully all of this will shed some light on some things that happened.”
Despite being locked up at St. Gabriel, Louisiana’s Elayn Hunt Correctional Center, Mac spoke in-depth about Hip Hop, specifically those who inspired him and the time he considered moving to New York City after being scouted by Russell Simmons and Kevin Liles.
“In my little mind, those East Coast guys were the real lyricists,” he said. “I wanted to keep those Southern beats, because the beats were banging, but I wanted to hold myself to the standards of those guys in New York…As much as I like New York music, I don’t think I was ready to move to New York. ‘It’s cold, it’s crowded, I don’t know anybody out there, I’ll be out there by myself like a fish out of water.’ It was a decision I had to contemplate, but eventually I decided to stay around.”
Lastly, Mac expressed his optimism at his current situation and spoke on being able to see the “light at the end of the tunnel.”
“I’ve always seen a light at the end of the tunnel,” Mac said. “When you know something, it can be hard to get people to see what you know. I’ve had my moments where I’ve been discouraged. I’ve felt things are not happening as swiftly as possible. Wavering, faltering—that’s gonna happen. But my confidence is always there. That’s what keeps me sane in here.”