A judge heard a DMX (whose real name is Earl Simmons) song on Wednesday, before ordering the rapper imprisoned for a year in a tax fraud case.
U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff took requests, accommodating DMX’s desire to hear his autobiographical hit Slippin‘ before DMX faced the music over his admission of guilt.
Slippin’ is the rapper’s 1998 song in which he vows to be strong and “find my way.”
READ MORE: DMX pleads guilty to U.S. tax fraud charge
As Slippin’ played in the packed courtroom, DMX nodded his head slightly to the beat while some of his supporters nodded more enthusiastically.
The judge called DMX’s fraud a “brazen and blatant” crime that could not go unpunished.
The 47-year-old rapper has been incarcerated since his bail was revoked in January. He sobbed during the proceeding as his lawyer Murray Richman recalled his nightmarish childhood.
“I never went to the level of tax evasion where I’d sit down and plot … like a criminal in a comic book,” DMX said when given an opportunity to address the court.
He said, at times getting choked up, that he “wasn’t following the rules” and had been “in a cloud. I wasn’t thinking straight.”
READ MORE: Rapper DMX sentenced to 6 months in jail
DMX, whose albums include It’s Dark And Hell Is Hot and Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood, recalled that the judge ordered him imprisoned in January for failing to obey bail restrictions that had allowed him to continue performing concerts while he received treatment for drug addictions.
“It woke me up,” he said.
Assistant U.S. attorney Richard Cooper said DMX engaged in tax fraud for six years after having paid taxes previously.
“He essentially went off the grid at a certain time,” the prosecutor said.
Richman said he wanted his client free to support his 15 children and pay back nearly US$2.3 million in taxes that are part of a restitution order.
Prosecutors had been seeking five years imprisonment, citing DMX’s lengthy rap sheet, but the judge handed down a one-year sentence, calling him “a good man.” The judge also said, “In many ways, he’s his own worst enemy.”
Prosecutors said that DMX paid royalty cheques into the bank accounts of other people to avoid paying taxes.
He pleaded guilty to one charge back in November.
The rap star’s prior arrest record includes charges of animal cruelty, reckless driving, drug possession, weapons charges and probation violations. He has had several felony convictions and served prison time in Arizona.
Along with his rap career, Simmons has starred in such films as the 1998 crime drama Belly, the 2000 action movie Romeo Must Die and the 2003 heist film Cradle 2 The Grave.
—With files from the Associated PressFollow @KatieScottNews
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