Former No Limit rapper Mac Phipps joined Blavity News' Facebook Live to discuss new music, the ills of incarceration and reentering society after a 21-year prison sentence.

"It's like a new normal on steroids," Phipps told Blavity of adjusting to reentry during the COVID-19 pandemic. "When I first got out, my first couple of days, I felt like I was in the twilight zone. As the days have progressed, it has gotten easier." 

While New Orleans looks markedly different than it did in 2000 when Phipps began serving time, he said he's been enjoying the city because it feels the same to him, saying there are many things he still loves about it. 

But the thing he really adores right now is being free.

"I love freedom, let me first say that, I love freedom," he said. "Freedom is the most important thing right now." 

But he's also been loving and struggling with all the technology the country has amassed in the past two decades, like his new smartphone and other communication capabilities.

The 44-year-old rapper also recently discovered the meaning of the word "drip," because according to his teenage step-daughters and 21-year-old son, he has none. 

"What is drip?" he recalled asking his children while telling Blavity about how he has to learn to dress and be cool again. 

Speaking of cool, Phipps divulged that one of his earliest rap influences, the song that made him want to become a rapper, is New Edition's 1984 hit, "Cool it Now." While Blavity couldn't get him to give us a full NE impersonation, Phipps did take to the piano as he demonstrated that he's still got his rapping skills with an ode to his late friend and fellow rapper, Soulja Slim. 

Now that's he's back on the outside world, with a 9 p.m. curfew, Phipps said reviving his rap career will be interesting.

"My wife said I turn into a pumpkin at 9 p.m.," he joked.

His parole stipulations prohibit him from being in nightclubs and other places where alcohol is sold. 

"This is New Orleans — they probably got alcohol in the water!" he said. 

As he works to navigate honoring his release obligations, Phipps also has plans to advocate on behalf of incarcerated people, and not just those who have been wrongly convicted.

"I definitely intend to use my platform to bring attention to those guys who are innocent of the crime… as well as the ones who I feel have gotten too much time for the crime that they're convicted of." 

He wants everyone to know that people who are incarcerated are human, too. 

"I have always seen prison as a microcosm of the broader community," he said. "You know, you got misfits, you got intelligent guys, you have all sorts of people — it's the same way just like in your community." 

Another thing Phipps wants people to know is that his new single, "21 Summers," which was written shortly before his release, is out now. 

"I need the money!" he said. "I just got out!" 

Watch the full interview below: