Rapper [artist id="1325"]DMX[/artist] (born Earl Simmons) was released from an Arizona jail early Thursday morning (May 14), after serving more than three months on fraud, drug and animal-cruelty charges.
X was originally sentenced to serve 90 days in the infamous "Tent City" jail in Maricopa County, Arizona, but following an alleged altercation with a corrections officer in February, he was rebooked on suspicion of aggravated assault and his sentence was extended. A spokesperson for the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office did not return calls for comment, but X's new publicist, Pam Pinnock, confirmed the release on Thursday.
"He was released on bail and went home this morning, and he was having breakfast with his family when I talked to him," Pinnock told MTV News early Thursday afternoon.
The rapper is due back in court on May 19 in connection with the aggravated assault charge, which stemmed from an incident in which Simmons reportedly threw a tray of food at a prison guard.
To announce the release, Pinnock released a statement on Thursday titled, "The biggest, baddest, dog is back." The press release informed talent buyers and promoters that "actor and Rapper DMX has been released from Tent City Jail in Phoenix, AZ, and will be making special appearances in certain markets and cities through the month of May only. The multi-platinum recording artist DMX will celebrate his new beginning in his career by finishing up his album working with Swizz Beatz and other well-known producers. He is in the process of reading scripts for several movie roles and major television shows."
Pinnock said that in addition to working on his new studio album, You'll Fly With Me Later, X is up for doing guest appearances on other people's songs. There was no word on X's equally long-delayed gospel CD. "He's in good spirits," she told MTV. "He won't focus on the past; he's very optimistic about the future."
In December, DMX pleaded guilty to animal cruelty, drug possession and theft, but this was after he had to be extradited from Florida last year. Following X's failure to appear in court for a hearing, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office offered a $5,000 reward for his capture. FBI agents finally arrested him at a home owned by troubled hip-hop producer Scott Storch.
The release caps what has been a troubling few years for the Yonkers-bred MC, who has faced multiple arrests in both Florida and Arizona on drug charges, as well as an investigation into allegations that he had mistreated some of the many dogs he housed on his Arizona property. Despite attempt to relaunch his stalled career with a promised new hip-hop album and the accompanying gospel effort, X has not released any new music since 2006's lackluster Year of the Dog ... Again.
At one point, he was rumored to be checking into VH1's "Celebrity Rehab" show, but that report was later denied by his spokesperson. X also announced recently that he was planning on starring in a reality show called "Pain and Perseverance," chronicling the launch of his Christian ministry, but Pinnock said that concept has also been shelved.
According to Pinnock's statement, X will be jumping right back into the game, with "appearances at certain concerts and special events to let his fans know that the DOG is back," beginning with an event scheduled for Thursday night at an unnamed venue in Phoenix.
Other upcoming DMX appearances:
May 15 - Phoenix, AZ
May 16 - Las Vegas, NV
May 17 - Las Vegas, NV
May 21 - Los Angeles, CA
May 22 - Los Angeles, CA
May 23 - Albuquerque, NM
May 24 - Denver, CO
May 29 - Atlanta, GA
May 30 - Houston, TX
May 31 - Dallas, TX