Photo: Streeter Lecka (Getty Images)

Against all odds, DMX’s recent plan to play his music at a sentencing hearing for tax evasion may have actually worked, kind of. After hearing a recording of the rapper’s 1998 cry for self-improvement, “Slippin’”, U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff dubbed X—born Earl Simmons—“a good man,” in the eyes of the court. Rakoff—citing a six-year period in which Simmons failed to pay more than a million dollars in taxes, and an incident in January in which he was thrown in prison after he failed to obey bail conditions set by the judge—still sentenced the rapper to a year in prison today, but that was significantly less than the five years the prosecution was calling for. (We’re not saying that’s all on Slippin’, but it couldn’t have hurt.)

DMX reportedly “nodded along” as the song played for the court, listening to his 20-years-younger self rap about getting high to get by, and how he “Gots to change cause I’ve got a son.” His attorneys emphasized the pain of Simmons’ childhood, and the impact his music has had on the lives of others, but X himself was quietly contrite. “I was in a cloud. I wasn’t thinking straight,” the 47-year-old rapper, who’s been under repeated treatment for drug addictions, told the court about his previous behavior. “I never went to the level of tax evasion where I’d sit down and plot ... like a criminal in a comic book.” Rakoff appears to have held a certain soft spot for the rapper, meanwhile; “In many ways,” the judge declared, “He’s his own worst enemy.” 

[via The Associated Press]