Rapper Mac pleaded not guilty Wednesday to murdering another man during a dispute March 4 at a Slidell, La., nightclub.
The 22-year-old performer, born McKinley Phipps, entered the plea during his arraignment on the second-degree murder charge, according to Joe Tosterud, a spokesperson for the St. Tammy Parish (La.) District Attorney's Office. Mac is being held without bail until an April 11 bond hearing. His trial is scheduled to begin June 5.
Mac, who is signed to Master P's No Limit Records, is accused of shooting and killing Barron Victor Jr., 19, as Victor attempted to break up a fight that had broken out at Club Mercedes. Mac was there to perform as part of an event billed the World War Party, according to police. He was arrested at his Baton Rouge home the next day.
Mac released his debut album, World War III, in September. Even though it debuted at #44 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, the album has sold fewer than 200,000 copies, according to SoundScan. It was full of combat imagery and references to camouflage. Song titles included "Assassin Nation" (RealAudio excerpt), and guests included Master P and Mia-X.
The rapper originally was charged with first-degree murder, which was reduced to the lesser charge in the indictment handed down by a grand jury last week. Mac faces life in prison if convicted.