Hip-hop star DMX has insisted that he’s “not a role model” following his arrest on tax fraud charges.
The X Gon’ Give It to Ya hitmaker turned himself into New York authorities on Thursday (13Jul17) after he was slapped with 14 federal counts and accused of failing to pay $1.7 million (£1.3 million) in tax liabilities to America’s Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
DMX, real name Earl Simmons, appeared in Manhattan federal court on Friday and entered a not guilty plea. He was freed on bail but was banned from leaving the New York area, which meant he was still able to perform at Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival on Saturday.
During his set, he seemed to reference the arrest and his other run-ins with the law by insisting to his fans that they shouldn’t aspire to be him but they can learn from his mistakes.
“One thing you can count on me for: the truth. I promise you that. If there’s one thing true, I’m not who you want to be, I’m who you should listen to,” he said in footage obtained by TMZ.com. “I ain’t a motherf**king role model. I’m not a role model alright? But you can count on me for the truth.”
During his emotional speech, he said he was “closer to God” and “I am a walking, breathing, living testament to what God can do in somebody’s life”, explaining that he knows God is with him, rescuing him from every bad situation.
“(But) being closer (to God) is hard because the attacks become stronger, become much harder to fight and they last longer. But that’s how it’s always been. Joy with the pain, dark with the light, sun with the rain, but with the right perspective there can be something to gain… You just gotta get past the self-pity and look for it.”
Prosecutors have alleged that the 46-year-old attempted to hide his earnings by putting his pay cheques in his managers’ accounts and living a cash-only existence.
DMX, who went to rehab in April, has spent multiple stints behind bars in recent years, serving time for reckless driving, driving on a suspended licence, theft and drug possession charges, as well as parole violation and failure to pay child support.
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