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Charly Wingate (born May 21, 1978), better known as Max B, is an American rapper and songwriter from Harlem, New York and is known for his original rap style of mumbled delivery, catchy sing-song choruses & hooks, and his energetic personality in interviews and videos.
Max B is a former member of The Diplomats and the Byrd Gang- After being released from prison, Max B was introduced to Jim Jones through long time friend, now manager Mike Bruno. Max B signed a 2 album records deal with Asylum Records, which Jim Jones was an A&R for at the time. He made his first appearance in hip-hop, being featured on the Jim Jones 2005 mixtape "City Of God". Max B contributed heavily to Jim Jones movement outside of The Diplomats having wrote a majority of the material for Byrd Gang Records as well as Jim Jones smash hit singles "Baby Girl" and "We Fly High". He made his first solo attempt with the mixtape "Million Dollar Baby" which was released early 2006. He has since severed ties with both Jim Jones and The Diplomats.
Max has suffered several legal setbacks. At the age of eighteen, he began a 7 year prison term for charges ranging from armed robbery to drug possession.
He is now out on bail, in a case where he faces charges of murder and conspiracy to commit robbery. These charges are in relation to an incident, where Wingate was accused of setting up a robbery in Fort Lee, New Jersey on September 22, 2006. A man was shot and killed and a woman implicated Max B, as the mastermind of the robbery turned homicide. She turned out to be a ex-girlfriend of Max, she said she alerted Max to the guys as a target for robbery, since she seen them flashing money, jewelry, and cars. Even though Max B was never present, he is still charged with murder and claims his innocence. This trial will start in April of 2009.
After being incarcerated on murder charges in September 2006, Max B bail was set at $200,000 dollars. He sat in jail for 9 months, before being bailed out by his Byrd Gang family. However Max had to sign a contract stating that in turn for the bail money, Jim Jones would own all of Max B's publishing, all profits made of songs originally wrote by Max, and also 6 more studio albums.
In July of 2008, Max B signed a three album record deal with Amalgam Digital, which is home to other mixtape favorites like Joe Budden, Saigon, Tash, and Peedi Crack. He plans to release the first album, entitled "Vigilante Season", which will lead to the third and final album, that will be available exclusively at Amalgam Digitals website. All three albums will be produced by Harlem, New York's legendary Dame Grease who is known for his use of real instrumentation as opposed to sampling. The two artist have worked together before, having released a string of mixtapes including "Goon Music 1.5", "Coke Wave" & "Quarantine"
Max B is known mainly on the mixtape circuit, having released over plenty of mixtapes and working with artist such as 50 Cent, Jadakiss, Cam'ron, Beanie Siegel, Tony Yayo, Styles P, Noreaga, Dame Grease, Stack Bundles, and French Montana. A survey taken on Max B's website, claimed that "Public Domain 3: Domain Pain" was voted as a favorite amongst fans. Max-B's most recent effort, was entitled "Wave Season". It was released in mid February 2009 for download at various sites, it was hosted by DJ Plus.
By June 6, 2009, he had been found guilty on 9 of 11 counts in the ongoing trial. On June 9, he was found guilty of murder conspiracy and robbery charges and faced up to 75 years. He was to be sentenced in Bergen County on July 30.
In a statement, Gerald Saluti said:
Max B would like to first thank all his family, friends and fans that have supported him throughout this trial. Please don’t give up on him at this point. Although the jury has spoken and Max has been convicted of felony murder, kidnapping, robbery and conspiracy a swift and successful appeal shall follow. [...] It is inconceivable that a jury could convict Max under the facts presented by the State. Even Gina Conway the State’s own witness testified that Max knew nothing of a robbery. [...] Ms. Conway, a jilted lover and proven liar, said so at the trial itself. Max said after the verdict was read that he is confident that justice will eventually be served and he will be free. [...] Max intends to continue putting out music for his fans while the appeal process grinds along. Although shocked by the verdict, Max remained grateful.
Max B was later sentenced to 75 years in prison on September 4, 2009. His mother, Sharon Wingate, and fellow rap artist said he plans to appeal his conviction. On March 19, 2010, Max B was granted an appeal with a new trial and lawyer.
In February 2012, rumors spread that Max's request for an appeal had been denied, but it since has been cleared up as an internet/blog/twitter rumor.
On August 30, 2012, Max's appeal was denied and he is set to remain in prison to finish his 75 year incarceration. Max continues to seek a higher appeal, and has begun the Pardon The Wave movement to garner support for a pardon from either the NJ governor or President Barack Obama through an online petition. Rapper Jay-Z recently shouted out Max B in support in his Rick Ross and Dr. Dre collaboration "3 Kings."
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