DMX (born Earl Simmons) burst out into an inspirational freestyle about the tough times he's been facing after pleading not guilty to two felony theft charges in a Phoenix courtroom on Thursday.
X was indicted earlier this week on a felony count of theft and another felony count of identity theft. "If and when you ever fall down/ Get back up," he rapped outside the courtroom, when asked for a comment following the hearing, according to a Reuters report. "Drop something/ Stop fretting/ Pick that ... back up/ Stand for something or fall for everything/ Wait for the right pitch or miss with every swing."
The Associated Press reported that X's attorney, Charles Kozelka, pulled the rapper aside after the freestyle, as the 37-year-old MC told reporters to keep an eye out for his upcoming album, Walk With Me Now, which is due out on October 14, to be followed by his long-promised gospel CD, You'll Fly With Me Later.
The president of his new label, Bodog Music, Peter Karroll, stood up for the rapper. "We wouldn't work with DMX, period, if we didn't believe he was just a victim of circumstance," Karroll said, according to the AP. "The sheriff in Phoenix is definitely targeting him. It's unbelievable."
The charges in the case are related to an April visit by DMX to the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, during which he allegedly told doctors his name was "Troy Jones" and gave a false address and contact information to avoid paying the $7,500 bill.
The court appearance was the latest in the rapper's long string of legal entanglements. He was arrested in May on suspicion of drug possession and animal cruelty after a search of his Phoenix-area home turned up weapons, drugs, dog carcasses and abused pit bulls. He was then arrested at Phoenix's Sky Harbor International Airport on July 2 on outstanding warrants, a week after his arrest in Miami on charges of attempting to buy cocaine and marijuana. He's due back in court in Phoenix on August 12.