DMX was arrested on Thursday and charged with tax fraud. According to Rolling Stone, the rapper was accused of “engaging in a multi-year scheme” to conceal $1.7 million in tax liabilities from the Internal Revenue Service. If convicted on all 14 counts, DMX could face up to four decades in prison.
Given his current legal situation, many are wondering just how much DMX (born Earl Simmons) has in the bank. According to Celebrity New Worth, the rapper has an estimated net worth of -10 million. This is the result of diminishing album sales over the past decade, as well as a history of arrests and tax-related woes. To learn more details about DMX’s net worth, check out these five fast facts.
1. He’s the Fifth Best-Selling Rap Artist in the United States
DMX has amassed most of his fortune through singles and record sales. He broke through into the mainstream with the album It’s Dark and Hell is Hot (1998), which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and was eventually certified quadruple platinum. DMX continued this success with his second album, Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood (1998), making him only the second rapper in history to have two albums debut at number one in the same year.
DMX’s third release, … And Then There Was X (1999), sold a whopping 700,000 copies its first week and remains his best-selling album to date. As of 2017, it has been certified 6x platinum, and contains his highest charting single, “Party Up (Up In Here),” which peaked at number 27 on the Billboard Hot 100.
These albums, coupled with The Great Depression (2001) and Grand Champ (2003)– which also went platinum– have made DMX the fifth best-selling rapper of the Nielsen SoundScan era. This puts him in the class of legendary artists like Eminem, 2Pac, Jay-Z, and Nelly. His latest album, Undisputed (2012), has brought his total of albums sold worldwide to a whopping 86 million.
2. His Films Have Grossed Over $269 Million Worldwide
Due to DMX’s massive success in the music industry, he was offered a series of film roles in the late 1990s. He made his debut opposite Nas and Method Man in Belly (1998), which grossed $9 million on a $3 million budget and has since become a cult classic for rap fans. DMX followed this up with even greater success in Romeo Must Die (2000) and Exit Wounds (2001), both of which were profitable at the box office and earned the rapper decent reviews from critics.
In recent years, DMX has continued acting in direct-to-DVD films like Last Hour (2007), Lords of the Street (2008), and The Bleeding (2009), which cast him opposite Vinnie Jones and Michael Madsen. His last role was a cameo in the Chris Rock comedy Top Five (2014), which earn critical praise and grossed over $25 on a $12 million budget.
He’s also starred in the BET reality series DMX: Soul of a Man, which ran for six episodes in 2006. According to The Numbers, DMX’s films and television ventures have earned an estimated $270 million.
3. He’s Filed for Bankruptcy Three Separate Times
As DMX’s career waned, he continued to stay in the headlines due to run-ins with the law. He was arrested over fifteen times between 2000 and 2013, with charges ranging from drug possession and drunk driving to animal cruelty and aggravated assault. The most notable setbacks he’s encountered, however, involve his numerous declarations of bankruptcy. Starting in 2009, DMX has filed for bankruptcy three separate times, the most recent being in 2013.
The rapper filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, meaning that he was unable to pay his creditors or any outstanding debt. According to court filings, he owed more than $1.2 million in child support, $1.8 million in contract disputes, goods and services, and had less than $50,000 in assets. A spokesperson said in a statement that his financial managers allegedly failed to send his payments.
Bankruptcy Court Judge Robert D. Drain dismissed the July 29 Chapter 11 filing in November of 2013, saying that the rapper failed to give the court trustworthy information. USA Today reports that DMX’s paperwork had “obvious inconsistencies regarding his income and assets, rendering it impossible to ascertain his financial affairs.” Drain’s decision meant that DMX could lose his assets, including his share in a home in Mount Kisko.
4. He’s Failed to Pay Child Support for His 15 Children
According to Complex magazine, DMX failed to pay child support for 10 years to the mother of his daughter Sasha, Patricia Trejo. The L.A. Supreme Court eventually forced him to pay up, after he refused to do without a paternity test. Given that the rapper has 15 children, however, this wasn’t the only time that he faced legal repercussions involving child support. In 2015, he was twice arrested for refusing to pay $40,000 in child support to his ex-wife Tashera Simmons and their four children. He wound up serving two months of a six month sentence.
The Washington Post reports that another woman, Monique Wayne claimed defamation and “unreasonable publicity” about her private life after the rapper told Sister 2 Sister magazine that she “raped” him while he slept in 2003. The rapper eventually admitted that he made the rape claim up in an effort to avoid admitting to adultery and subsequently paying child support for the child that he and Wayne had together in 2004.
“The court award speaks to the outrageousness of Mr. Simmons’s comments,” said Wayne’s attorney Stephanie Moran, “It’s shameful that he would state he was raped in an attempt to conceal his adulterous behavior.” DMX was forced to pay Wayne $1.5 million according to MTV News.
His youngest child, and first with longtime girlfriend Desiree Lindstrom, was born in August 2016.
5. He Owes $1.7 Million in Back Taxes to the IRS
DMX’s latest financial situation may prove to be his most dire. Joon H. Kim, the acting U.S. attorney for New York who will preside over the case, released a statement detailing the case’s severity. Kim claims that DMX “went out of his way” to evade his tax obligations and attempted to conceal large portions of his income through an elaborate act that included avoiding personal bank accounts, opening accounts under false identities, and paying for personal expenses exclusively in cash.
“Celebrity rapper or not, all Americans must pay their taxes,” Kim said in his statement, “Together, with our partners at the IRS, we will pursue those who deliberately and criminally evade this basic obligation of citizenship.” DMX has pleaded not guilty to these charges. If found guilty, The Los Angeles Times states he could serve up to 40 years in prison.
DMX is currently out on a $500K bond, after getting 2 co-signers to come up with the bail money. TMZ adds that he will be required to stay in the New York City area at this time and will be under strict drug testing.