(CN) – Jailed rapper DMX claims his royalty administrator stole $500,000 in the past 10 years. During that time, the rapper’s five chart-topping albums sold more than 30 million copies, according to the complaint in New York County Court.
DMX, whose real name is Earl Simmons, claims Rich Kid Entertainment raked in the dough from his songs while paying him nothing. “In effect,” Simmons says, “Defendants schemed to abscond with all of plaintiffs’ royalties.”
He claims Rich Kid also stole from other rappers who worked on his albums and defrauded other record labels by claiming it controlled royalties for sales of his albums, though it actually was in charge only of foreign royalties from music he made in 1998.
Simmons says he has published his own music through his company, co-plaintiff Boomer X Publishing, since 2000.
Simmons says he hired Rich Kid in 2001 to collect foreign royalties from songs he made in 1998, for a 10 percent fee.
In 1998, Simmons released two critically and commercially acclaimed albums, “It’s Dark and Hell is Hot” and “Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood.”
Simmons claims Rich Kid took over the collection of domestic and worldwide royalties for his entire catalogue, and lied to record companies about its arrangements with Simmons.
Simmons also claims that Rich Kid licensed his songs to other labels without permission.
Until 2009, Simmons, who is known for his ubiquitous appearances on other rappers’ songs, says he had no idea who was remixing his songs or on which albums they appeared.
Simmons says Rich Kid’s falsified accounting statements claimed that it didn’t owe him anything.
He says his switching labels and his history of jumping in and out of jail kept him from discovering the scam until January 2009.
Simmons has been in jail in Arizona since March, accused of using drugs while on probation. He has had repeated problems with the law, including charges of assault, attempted aggravated assault, felony gun possession, attempted robbery and an attempt to buy cocaine.
Simmons has starred or appeared in more than a dozen movies, including the Steven Seagal action flick “Exit Wounds,” and “Romeo Must Die,” opposite Jet Li.
He demands $500,000 and punitive damages.
Jon Jekielek and Ira Meyerowitz are representing Simmons in his suit against
Rich Kid Entertainment 1, Rich Kid Music Inc., 27 Red Music and Rhondo Robinson.