DMX was released on $500,000 bail today (July 14) in New York City after being indicted on tax evasion charges. And before he went home, the 46-year-old hip-hop legend had a message for his following.
"I appreciate all the love and support. I won't let my fans down," he told REVOLT TV exclusively today, minutes after his release, with rain drops starting to intensify as they fell.
X had an arraignment this afternoon at New York Federal Court, where he pleaded innocent to a multitude of tax fraud charges. A bail arrangement was agreed up by his lawyer Murray Richman and the Federal prosecution team.
DMX's bail comes with some caveats. He must get permission to travel outside of New York for work purposes, and he has to turn over his passport once he gets one. X also has to submit to drug tests, and cannot be in possession of a firearm. The Ruff Ryders stalwart only had to pay $50,000 of the half million dollar bail to get out today, with the provision he had two consigners. In the event X was to jump bail, he would have to pay the entire $500,000 and get hit with more criminal charges separate from tax evasion.
The music and movie superstar spoke very little in court, only saying "yes your honor" when asked if he understood what was going in a couple of instances, and "innocent" when asked what his plea was. U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew J. Peck was amazed at X's long record of arrests over the years, calling it "remarkable." When he asked prosecutors why they were comfortable granting him bail, they admitted that he had been cooperative.
Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim wasn't so kind. He pulled no punches in the statement released on the case."For years, Earl Simmons, the recording artist and performer known as DMX, made millions from his chart-topping songs, concert performances and television shows," the statement read. "But while raking in millions from his songs, including his 2003 hit 'X Gon' Give it to Ya,' DMX didn't give any of it to the IRS. Far from it, DMX allegedly went out of his way to evade taxes, including by avoiding personal bank accounts, setting up accounts in other's names and paying personal expenses largely in cash. He even allegedly refused to tape the television show 'Celebrity Couples Therapy' until a properly issued check he was issued was reissued without withholding any taxes. Celebrity rapper or not, all Americans must pay their taxes, and together with our partners at the IRS, we will pursue those who deliberately and criminally evade this basic obligation of citizenship."
X turned himself into authorities on Thursday. He was arrested on 14 counts of federal tax evasion. The government claims he owes $1.7 million in back taxes, and he faces up to 44 years in prison if convicted on all counts. He wore a white t-shirt with the word "R.A.W." written across the front, beige pants and white sneakers in court. When released he put on a blue sweater as he stood outside with Ruff Ryder co-founder Darin "Dee" Dean and Pat Gallo from his management team. Both were present in court to show support.
"I feel good," he said when asked how he felt in the wake of the events that transpired the last couple of days.
X is scheduled to perform tomorrow at The Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival along with his Double R brothers The LOX and Rakim.