“X” Being the Arresting Officer
Hip-hop icon DMX’s own lyrics may have caught up with him Thursday when he was arrested on suspicion of tax evasion.
The rapper, 46, pleaded not guilty Friday in federal court in New York to 14 charges related to tax fraud. He was to be released after posting $500,000 bond.
“It’s allowed me to not be scared of the situation and face it head-on, you know what I’m saying?” the multi-platinum hip-hop artist, whose real name is Earl Simmons, told reporters outside the courthouse. “My life is in God’s hands.”
In 2003, DMX penned the second verse of his chart-topping single, “X Gon’ Give It to Ya,” with a gripe about those who tried to bum off his success.
“Every time I turn around, cats got they hands out wanting something from me,” he rapped. “I ain’t got it, so you can’t get it.”
The track’s abidingly catchy lyrics ostensibly referred to X’s scrappy ascendance to rap stardom. Still, a pair of federal prosecutors from New York think they make for a pretty ironic double entendre: While DMX raked in millions from the song’s success, he neglected to give any of the money to the IRS, they said in a 14-count tax fraud indictment.
“X Gon’ Give It to Ya” was specifically called out by Joon H. Kim, the acting U.S. attorney for New York who will preside over the case, in a statement about the indictment.
Per Kim, the rapper “went out of his way” to evade his tax obligations and attempted to conceal hefty portions of his income through an elaborate (and enduring — he’s supposedly been at it for years) smoke-and-mirrors act that included avoiding personal bank accounts, opening accounts under false identities and paying for personal expenses exclusively in cash.
DMX managed to skirt some $1.7 million in federal tax obligations, the prosecution said.
In addition to tax evasion, he faces charges of failing to file a tax return and corruptly trying to obstruct and impede the due administration of IRS laws.
“Celebrity rapper or not, all Americans must pay their taxes,” Kim said in the statement. “Together, with our partners at the IRS, we will pursue those who deliberately and criminally evade this basic obligation of citizenship.”
Though this isn’t DMX’s first confrontation with the law, it is a potentially formidable one. If found guilty, he could face up to 44 years in federal prison.
Oh wow. I can literally smell the irony all the way from here, and this happened in New York City. Rapper DMX, famous for songs such as the aforementioned “X Gon’ Give it to Ya”‘ “Rough Rider Anthem”, and the non debatable best pump up song ever “Party Up (Up in Here)”, was just arrested on tax evasion charges in New York City. Like, come on X. You know you don’t want anyone else to give it to ya, and you’re really opening yourself up to all these jokes when you go and do something over the past 14 years that warrants some other person or entity giving it to ya. Gotta say I’m a little disappointed, I expected more from DMX. I though that the US government was going to have to create an entirely new crime called “giving to them” because of whatever shit DMX, real name Earl Simmons, got himself into, without a doubt involving the lyrics to one of his most popular songs. But tax evasion? That’s weak sauce for someone like DMX, he was probably just getting board with his life and needed a change, figured he could go give it to people in jail (get your mind out the gutter) for a change, people on the outside are too soft anyway-DMX needs a new challenge. But tax evasion? That’s just not how rough riders roll, at least I don’t think.
Also that Joon Kim (possible goat name?) has some serious balls. I know, I know, the US government and its prosecutors are afraid of no one, but if there’s an exception to that rule it has to be DMX right? I mean come on, if you’re going to go after a guy who has been on record (see what I did there?) as saying that he’s not gonna wait for fuckers to go out and get it on their own, he will just straight deliver it to them, than you have to have some brass below the belt. We don’t even really know what “it” is, but you can bet your ass it’s not candy.
DMX, we here at basementbanter would like to extend an enormous thank you for all you’ve done, and we wish you luck in this court case. Go give it to em’.