DMX, “Dog Years” (Originally Published January/February 2009)

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[July 2, 2008]
While awaiting scheduled court dates for the driving and drug charges in Miami, X misses a court date in Arizona. The judge issues a bench warrant and $25,000 bond. “That means, essentially, if he’s picked up [outside of Arizona], he can bond out in the state of Arizona,” explains Cohen. DMX is arrested for the bond violation as soon as he steps off a plane in Arizona and is later released. “He’s always getting off,” says Sherriff Arpaio. “He goes to Florida, he gets arrested… These justices keep letting him out. He seems to be released on bond all the time, and he skips… He’s led a charmed life. It’s about to stop.”

[July 19, 2008]
DMX is arrested at a Phoenix mall on two felony charges: theft and taking the identity of another. The charges stem from an alleged incident at the Scottsdale Mayo Clinic three months earlier, in April, when X was being treated for an illness. While there, he reportedly used the alias Troy Jones and skipped out on a $7,500 bill. Po, who was with him at the time, says X was at his home when he fell ill. “He was curled over in the bed. He was in a lotta pain, and he was like, ‘Yo, I can’t breathe.’ ’Cause, you know, he has asthma. He lives at least 30, 40 minutes from the hospital. So I grab him up, throw him in the car, and I jet to the hospital.” Upon arrival, Po says he gave the nurse a fake name. “I wanted him to just get the service immediately… Usually when you say an artist like DMX, everybody is so starstruck they not concentrating on what’s going on.”

Po adds that, after X was treated for pneumonia, people in the waiting room started recognizing him, so the two left. But Po says he left his cell-phone number with the hospital. “[The police] ran up in his crib saying that they was looking for papers from the hospital because he used a false name… It wasn’t really that.”

[July 25, 2008]
DMX pleads not guilty to two felony theft charges in connection to his hospital visit. Outside of the Phoenix courtroom, he breaks into a freestyle about his recent troubles. “If and when you ever fall down,” he rhymes to a crowd of waiting reporters, “get back up/ Drop something/Stop fretting/Pick that.. back up/Stand for something or fall for everything/ Wait for the right pitch or miss with every swing.”

[August 12, 2008]
A Phoenix judge issues an arrest warrant for DMX for missing a scheduled pretrial hearing in relation to the drug charges stemming from the May 9 raid on his home.

[August 14, 2008]
DMX is arrested outside a South Florida Wal-Mart by Miami police in connection to the bench warrant issued two days earlier. “This is fishy,” says Cohen of the arrest. “A police officer pulls up behind a car that was parked in an illegal spot. X is the passenger in the car—his friend went into Wal-Mart to get something. They see X in the car, they ask him for I.D. because they just want to check who he is.”

Bradford is among those who think Sheriff Arpaio has it out for X. “He was looking for some way for X to serve some time,” says Cohen. “He was very frustrated that X kept getting bond and that he kept picking up these new charges and that they kept letting him out.” Sheriff Arpaio says he just wants to bring the rapper to justice. “Our office has arrested this guy, what, five times? And he keeps being released and committing crimes,” says Arpaio. “I don’t have it out for him. I never met the guy, never heard his records.”

[August 15, 2008]
DMX’s townhouse at 2007 Fifth Avenue in Harlem sells for a reported $120,000 through a sheriff’s auction. The 3,700-square-foot home was put up for sale two days prior, due to a judgment won by Amusing Diversions Inc. The company filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit in 2004, claiming X failed in his obligations to promote Boomer 129, the line of dog wear they’d developed together. (They also claimed he came to one promotional event late and drunk.) A $253,000 judgment resulted after X didn’t show up in court. The buyer will assume an estimated $400,000 in unpaid mortgage on the house that X purchased in 2001 for $750,000 and later transferred by deed to his wife.

[August 19, 2008]
While incarcerated in Miami, DMX misses another scheduled court date in Arizona. The felony warrant prevents him from getting bond, so X is supposed to remain in jail until his court date for the cocaine and marijuana
charges.

[August 26, 2008]
DMX attends an extradition hearing in Miami in hopes of getting released on bond so he can return to Arizona for the court case he missed. However, Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Lawrence Schwartz upholds the no bond hold that resulted from an outstanding warrant in Arizona, which means X is to remain in custody for at least another month. DMX reportedly responds in the courtroom, “I ain’t going back to no fuckin’ jail,” as he leaves the podium, earning a rebuke from Judge Schwartz. “I already had it set up that he was gonna plea the next day,” says Cohen. “So when the judge said to X, ‘Well, sir, I guess I’ll see you on October 3 or October 4,’ X walked away from the podium and said, ‘You’re not gonna see me fuckin’ October 3,’ ’cause he already knew.”

[August 27, 2008]
Pleading guilty to charges of attempted purchase of cocaine and marijuana, X is sentenced to time served and a $483 fine, avoiding jail time. “If we didn’t wrap [the case] up, he would’ve had to spend an extra 60 to 75 days in jail,” says Cohen, calling the prosecutor’s case “weak.” “They arrested, I think, 50 people all in the same day, and all of the probable-cause affidavits were identical. It was like a sting where they were sitting out on a corner and people would walk by. They knew who he was—they called him by name. And then, all of a sudden, they make this arrest, and it makes the news that they’re doing this big bust. To me, something didn’t smell right.”

[September 12, 2008]
DMX is extradited from Florida to Arizona’s Maricopa County Jail on an outstanding warrant for missing a previous court date.

[September 22, 2008]
Complaining of numbness in parts of his body, DMX is rushed to the emergency room of South Florida’s Aventura Hospital for what reports state is “fear of a stroke.” Due to the hospital stay, he misses a September 23 court date in Arizona. DMX’s next court date is scheduled for December. According to Charles Kozelka, the Maricopa County public defender assigned to X’s felony cases in Arizona, any trials would likely take place in 2009. Kozelka says, “It’s a long process, but we are looking forward to getting his name cleared.”

Optimism is strong within X’s camp for a musical comeback, too. “When he does come out…he’s got a lot that he’s thought about, a lot to say,” says Yonkers producer Divine Bars, who’s been laying tracks with
X in the studio. “He’s taking a negative and turning it into something positive.”

Po, too, believes his friend will be okay. “It’s not that he’s out of the loop, that he don’t understand his left from his right,” he says. “Sometimes [drugs] hinder him, as far as getting his work done. But he’s not an outta-control dude. He’s not fighting and slipping.”