[Editor's note: Over the holiday season, SonicNet is looking back at 1999's top stories, chosen by our editors and writers. This story originally ran on Monday, July 12.]
Hardcore rapper DMX was released from a Trinidadian jail Monday morning (July 12)
after he paid a small fine and apologized for cursing onstage during a concert in the
capital city Saturday night.
DMX (born Earl Simmons) was arrested in front of 12,000 people during a concert at
Queen's Park Oval cricket ground in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, after he repeatedly used
obscene language during his performance, Cpl. Joseph Walker of the St. Clair station
Among the words DMX used while talking to the crowd between songs were
"bitch" and "f---," Walker said.
It is illegal in Trinidad to use obscene language in public.
"In other countries they allow that, but in this country we do not," Walker said.
Walker, who was on duty at the rap-and-reggae show, said DMX, who is known for his
rough-voiced, aggressive rapping on songs such as "Get at Me Dog"
received repeated warnings before he was arrested. Police fired their
guns into the air to quiet fans who became unruly after police cut short DMX's set, but no
injuries were reported, Walker said.
The 28-year-old rapper, who also was charged with resisting arrest, was held in jail until
Monday morning because police feared he would leave the country if he were released
on bail, Walker said.
In a Monday morning court appearance in Port-of-Spain's Magistrate Court, DMX made
a public apology for his onstage language, according to a court spokesperson.
After the rapper apologized, the court dismissed the charge of resisting arrest and
ordered him to pay a $150 fine on the obscene-language charge, according to the
spokesperson, who declined to be named, citing court policy.
DMX, who wore jeans and a blue-and-white plaid shirt, paid the fine on the spot and was
released, said the spokesperson, who added that if the rapper had been unable to pay,
he could have been sentenced to a month of hard labor.
DMX also could have faced a permanent ban on future performances in Trinidad, but
such a ban was not imposed, apparently because of his apology, the spokesperson said.
During a recent performance in Trinidad, rapper Foxy Brown received a warning based
on the same obscene-language ban but was not arrested, according to Walker.
DMX still faces felony weapons charges in Teaneck, N.J., where police said they found
illegal weapons, including a semi-automatic handgun, during a search of his house two
weeks ago. According to police, the search warrant was issued as part of an
investigation into an incident in which Ray Copeland, DMX's manager and uncle, was
shot in the foot.
DMX's lawyer, Brian Neary, said he had not been told why the warrant was issued but
added his client is not guilty of the charges.
DMX also faces misdemeanor assault charges in Yonkers, N.Y., stemming from an
incident in May in which he allegedly attacked a motorist. Another DMX lawyer, Ian Niles,
said the rapper was innocent of those charges and had merely been defending his wife.
The rapper's two albums, It's Dark and Hell Is Hot and Flesh of My Flesh
Blood of My Blood, both released in 1998, debuted at #1 on the
Billboard 200 albums chart. The latter album includes "The Omen"
(RealAudio excerpt), on which controversial rocker Marilyn Manson appears.