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Rapper DMX enters not guilty plea

DMX has pleaded not guilty to felony drug possession and misdemeanor animal cruelty charges.

A judge entered the plea for the musician-actor (real name: Earl Simmons) at a brief court hearing Thursday. Simmons was late for court.

The 37-year-old rapper was indicted last week on 11 counts, including felony marijuana and paraphernalia possession and seven counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty.

The charges stem from an August raid by authorities investigating if he was neglecting 12 pit bulls at his Phoenix home. Some were dehydrated and appeared to be underfed. Three were found buried in his back yard.

The rapper has had previous run-ins with the law. In June 2006, Scottsdale police cited him for carrying a concealed handgun outside a nightclub. He also served 70 days in jail in 2005 for violating his parole following a 2004 incident in which he posed as an undercover federal agent and crashed his sport utility vehicle through a security gate at Kennedy International Airport.

DMX recorded the 1999 hit single “Party Up (Up in Here).” His last album, “Year of the Dog … Again,” was released last year.

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