Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has granted clemency to No Limit rapper McKinley “Mac” Phipps Jr. after 21 years behind bars.

HuffPost reports that Phipps, known to hip-hop fans as Mac, served 21 years of a 30-year sentence for the murder of a teen fan that he says he did not commit. Phipps was 22 at the time of his arrest, and has maintained his innocence throughout the years. Another man, meanwhile, previously confessed to the shooting. The news of John Bel Edwards granting clemency comes not long after the Louisiana Board of Parole and Pardons voted to do the same on Feb. 22. 

“We are nearing the finish line in a long fought battle in securing McKinley’s freedom,” his wife Angelique Phipps said in a statement shared with HuffPost. “While he still has the upcoming parole hearing and no definitive release date, we are relieved, grateful, and looking forward to the future.”

The governor’s office confirmed Mac’s clemency on Thursday. 

“As you are likely aware, many clemency applications are submitted each year and only a small number are approved. This letter is to inform you that I have granted your application,” the governor wrote in a letter addressed to Phipps late last month. “I congratulate you on your efforts to turn your life around and remind you that it is up to you to make the most out of this opportunity.” 

Phipps is set to appear before the parole board once again before he can be given a release date, with the hearing currently set for June 22.