A judge heard a DMX rap song before sentencing the rapper to a year in jail for tax fraud.
Federal Judge Jed Rakoff accommodated DMX's desire to hear his hit Slippin' before calling the rapper's fraud a "brazen and blatant" crime that could not go unpunished.
The 47-year-old, known to law enforcement and the courts as Earl Simmons, has been incarcerated since his bail was revoked in January.
He sobbed during the proceeding as his lawyer, Murray Richman, recalled his nightmarish childhood.
Mr Richman said DMX has been a model prisoner. Still, prosecutors sought five years in prison for him, citing a lengthy rap sheet and drugs.
Mr Richman wanted him free to support his 15 children and pay back more than 2 million US dollars in taxes.
As Slippin' played in the packed courtroom, DMX nodded his head slightly to the beat while some of his supporters nodded more enthusiastically.
Given a chance to speak, he said he knows taxes need to be paid and what he did was wrong.
"I wasn't following the rules," he said. "I was in a cloud."
The judge said that in the court's view DMX "is a good man".
"In many ways," the judge said, "he's his own worst enemy."