This week, Earl Simmons, A.K.A DMX, was sentenced to a year in prison for tax fraud, a charge that he plead guilty to in November.
U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim, who is working the case, said in a statement that, “For years, Earl Simmons, the recording artist and performer known as DMX, made millions from his chart-topping songs, concert performances and television shows. But while raking in millions from his songs, including his 2003 hit ‘X Gon’ Give it to Ya,’ DMX didn’t give any of it to the IRS. Far from it, DMX allegedly went out of his way to evade taxes, including by avoiding personal bank accounts, setting up accounts in other’s names and paying personal expenses largely in cash. He even allegedly refused to tape the television show ‘Celebrity Couples Therapy’ until a properly issued check he was issued was reissued without withholding any taxes. Celebrity rapper or not, all Americans must pay their taxes, and together with our partners at the IRS, we will pursue those who deliberately and criminally evade this basic obligation of citizenship.”
However, DMX is long past the prime in his career, and most of the income in question was earned many years ago.
U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff handed down the sentence in a courtroom in Manhattan and decided to sentence him to a year in prison, instead of the recommended five.
Lawyers argued in court that a traumatic upbringing left DMX unable to handle the many temptations that come along with fame. They even played some of his most emotional songs for the judge, including the early hit “Slippin.”
Rakoff called DMX “a good man” but said that this type of offense “cannot go unpunished.”
Wesley Snipes, Lauryn Hill, and many others have also done significant time in prison over tax charges.
Some people would point out that DMX had plenty of money, and that he could have easily handed over his extortion fee and still be able to eat.
However, if a wealthy man was walking down the street and was attacked by a mugger, would people still carry that same perception? Would everyone condemn this person for attempting to stand up against his mugger? Because DMX, and every other person who is forced to fill out a tax form, is by principle a victim of theft.
Thanks to a lifetime of propaganda, people will argue relentlessly that taxation is not an act of violence, they will deny that it perpetuates a complicated form of slavery, and many times get deeply offended when you point out the fact that it is theft. Yet, peaceful people are taken against their will and thrown in cages every day for not paying taxes. If this action was not carried by the state, everyone would recognize it as a violent kidnapping.
Whats worse is the fact that if any of these people made any attempts to defend themselves on their own property as they would against any other intruder, they would have been killed and treated as if they were the aggressor.
Below, his lawyer explains why his songs were played in court.
Image: DMX/Rap Up.