Rapper DMX appeared in a Phoenix courtroom yesterday (July 24) to plead not guilty to felony charges of theft and identity theft.
The charges stem from allegations that the 37-year-old entertainer (born Earl Simmons) gave the name “Troy Jones” and an incorrect Social Security number to a Scottsdale hospital in April.
According to authorities, the fake alias and social security number were used by Simmons to avoid paying $7,500 in medical expenses.
The plea is the latest chapter in a string of legal troubles and court appearances for Simmons, whose most recent encounter with the law came earlier this month, when he was arrested at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport on outstanding warrants after he failed to appear in court.
Despite the charges and his latest court appearance, Simmons record label, Bodog Music, is standing by him.
“We wouldn’t work with DMX period if we didn’t believe he was just a victim of circumstance,” Bodog President Peter Karroll, told the Associated Press. “The sheriff in Phoenix is definitely targeting him. It’s unbelievable.”
Moments after entering his plea in Maricopa County Superior Court, Simmons addressed reporters seeking comments with an impromptu rap.
“If and when you ever fall down, get back up. … Stand for something or fall for everything. Wait for the right pitch, you’ll miss every swing,” the rapper rhymed.
His lawyer, Charles Kozelka, turned attention away from his client and on his clients upcoming projects, which include his double album titled Walk With Me Now and Youll Fly With Me Later.
Walk With Me Now is due in stores October 14.
DMX is due in court on August 12 for a conference as he faces multiple charges of drug possession and cruelty to animals in Phoenix.