DMX has a well-established reputation for showing up late, or not at all, for shows and interviews. But on Thursday, the gravelly voiced rapper was tardy to the one place you never want to be: court. Dressed in a baggy white T-shirt and “dingy” jeans, DMX (born Earl Simmons), walked into the Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix an hour late for an arraignment on four felony drug charges and seven misdemeanor animal-cruelty charges, according to the Arizona Republic.
He entered a plea of not guilty on all 11 charges, which stem from an early-morning May 9 raid on his Arizona home by Maricopa County Sheriff’s deputies. The raid came seven months after the sheriff’s office launched an investigation into allegations that the rapper was neglecting 12 pit bulls on the property , some of whom were reportedly dehydrated and apparently underfed. The bodies of three dogs were found buried in the backyard. He is charged with two counts of marijuana possession and two for drug paraphernalia based on evidence the police reportedly found in the rapper’s home.
The Republic reported that DMX had no comment for the press, but when asked how he was dealing with the allegations, the rapper — who has said he’s working on both a secular and gospel album — replied, “Prayer.” He described his present situation as “not very pleasant.”
The court appearance came just over a week after DMX was arrested on charges of racing on a highway , driving on a suspended license, reckless driving, two counts of endangerment and three counts of criminal speed in an incident that occurred on January 21, when traffic cameras caught him driving his bright yellow Chevy Nova II at over 100 mph.
According to the Republic, DMX owes more than $3,600 in traffic fines in the Cave Creek, Arizona, area and the Cave Creek Municipal Court issued a warrant for his arrest in April when he failed to appear on charges that he was driving on a suspended driver’s license in March, when he was stopped for going 45 mph in a 25 mph zone. At that time, he also had no proof of insurance and failed to provide identification. In December, he was cited for driving with suspended plates, no insurance and no valid Arizona registration. Despite the arrest warrant and fines, the paper said DMX has not appeared in court for the traffic charges.
DMX is due back in court on the drug and animal-cruelty charges on July 2.