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Jailed Rapper DMX Sues over Music Royalties

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By Kamika Dunlap on May 03, 2010 10:55 AM

Rapper DMX has filed a lawsuit over lost music royalties from a jail cell, claiming that an entertainment company pocketed funds from a contract signed a decade ago.

The troubled rapper, DMX, is currently behind bars at an Arizona jail serving a six-month sentence after pleading guilty to charges of probation violation (by failing a drug test). He is suing executives at Rich Kid Entertainment, the Associated Press reports.

The lawsuit alleges the company owes him $1.5 million in back payments for music royalties and fraudulently misrepresenting its rights to collect revenue on the rapper's behalf. DMX, 39, claims the entertainment company pocketed 100 percent of the funds from a contract signed 10 years ago that was only supposed to provide them a 10 percent cut.

Rapper DMX, whose real name is Earl Simmons, has spent time in jail on charges of drug possession, animal cruelty and theft. He was in and out of jail from 2000 through 2008 and changed representatives numerous times, which is the main reason cited in the lawsuit for the rapper's delay in bringing the case.

Lastly, the lawsuit claims Rich Entertainment acted beyond its authority and allegedly authorized labels including Sony, Universal, Warner Bros. and others, to use, mix and reproduce some of DMX's songs in other albums and songs around the world.

DMX scored such hits as "Get At Me Dog" and "Party Up" in the 1990s. In addition, he appeared in films including 2000's "Romeo Must Die" and 2003's "Cradle 2 the Grave."