Rapper DMX is facing a year in jail after an apparent asthma attack made him late to court in New York yesterday (17NOV05).

The gruff rap star, real name Earl Simmons, was facing a 60-day sentence after pleading guilty to violating the terms of his conditional release, but his tardiness could now see him behind bars for much of 2006.

Judge DOROTHY CHIN-BRANDT warned the rapper she'd extend his prison time if he failed to show up for sentencing at a hearing last month (OCT05), and now she's set to honour her word after initially issuing a bench warrant for the late star's arrest.

DMX's latest legal troubles stem from an incident at New York's John F Kennedy International Airport last summer (04), when the rap star claimed to be a federal agent and tried to steal a car.

Chin-Brandt issued the bench arrest warrant two hours after DMX was supposed to appear in court. He arrived 45 minutes later.

The rapper's attorney MURRAY RICHMAN then told the court, "He had an asthma attack. He had to stop and get his pump and breathe," but that failed to sway the authorities, who jailed DMX at New York's famous Rikers Island prison for the night.

The rapper is expected to return to Chin-Brandt's courtroom today for sentencing.