DMX Headed For Jail After Judge Rejects Appeal

Rapper expected to surrender within two weeks to begin serving time on traffic charge.

DMX will be forced to party up behind bars after a New York judge refused to overturn his 15-day jail sentence on a traffic charge.

Acting State Supreme Court Justice Joseph P. McCarthy rejected the Grammy- nominated rapper's appeal Thursday, according to the Associated Press, and DMX is expected to surrender within two weeks to begin serving time in the Erie County Correctional Facility in Alden.

DMX, born Earl Simmons, was arrested March 3 on the Kensington Expressway for speeding, failing to signal a lane change, driving with a suspended permit and possessing marijuana (see "DMX Arrested On Driving, Drug Possession Charges").

The rapper, then touring on the Ruff Ryders/Cash Money tour, skipped a March 23 court date on the charges, and a New York State warrant was issued for his arrest (see "DMX Jailed On Warrant, Gun Charge"). He turned himself in nearly a week later in Cheektowaga, New York, where Town Justice Ronald E. Kmiotek ordered the maximum 15-day jail term and $400 in fines after DMX pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of driving without a license. The rapper appealed the sentence.

DMX is nominated for two Grammys, including Best Hip-Hop Album for ... And Then There Was X. The rapper must begin his jail term by February 6 if he wants to make the Grammys ceremony, set for February 21 in Los Angeles.

According to a spokesperson, DMX has several upcoming projects in the works. The rapper is recording tracks for The Ear, his fourth studio album and the follow-up to the multiplatinum ... And Then There Was X. The new album has a tentative release date of May 22, according to the spokesperson.

A DVD set for release in March will include a 30-minute video for "Angel," starring Mary J. Blige and directed by Bill Duke; footage from the making of ... And Then There Was X; and videos for "What's My Name?," "Party Up" and "What These Bitches Want."

DMX is also writing an autobiography, "A Dogz Life," due this summer.

On the big screen, DMX will star with Steven Seagal in "Exit Wounds," which is due out on March 16, and will begin filming "The Crow: Lazarus," the fourth film in the "Crow" franchise, in the spring (see "Kahn To Direct DMX In Next 'Crow' Film").

DMX, a brash rapper from Yonkers, New York, began his career guesting on tracks by LL Cool J and Mase before releasing his debut album, It's Dark and Hell Is Hot, in 1998. The album debuted at #1 and featured the singles "Ruff Ryders Anthem" and "Get at Me Dog."

The rapper also has a long history in the courtroom. A Westchester County, New York, grand jury indicted him on two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree and unlawful possession of marijuana last summer. He was cleared of a stabbing charge by Denver authorities in 1999, and was exonerated of a rape charge by the Bronx, New York, district attorney in 1998.

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