Police are investigating a man's claim that he was robbed by rapper DMX and members of his entourage at a Newark, N.J. gas station early Sunday.

The man, 21, told investigators he saw DMX and his crew about 12:30 a.m. outside an Exxon station along Route 21, Newark police spokesman Sgt. Ronald Glover said in an emailed statement.

Recognizing the famous rapper, the man approached him, and the two engaged in "a brief conversation about rap music," Glover said.

A member of DMX's entourage then allegedly pulled a gun and demanded the man's cash.

As the victim removed $3,200 from his pocket, DMX "snatched the money out of his hand," the man told investigators.

The rapper, born Earl Simmons, then jumped into one of four black Cadillac Escalades that sped from the scene, according to police.

The victim followed the motorcade south on McCarter Highway and was able to make out one of the SUV's license plates, which he turned over to investigators. Police did not say whether they had connected the tag to DMX or anyone in his entourage.

DMX was in Newark Saturday night to perform at a Masters of Ceremony Hip Hop Reunion tour date at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, according to his itinerary.

The rapper, now 44, first shot to fame in the late 90s with hits like "Ruff Ryders' Anthem" and "Party Up (Up In Here)."

DMX served several jail stints in the early 2000s for unlicensed driving and marijuana possession. He entered substance abuse rehab in 2002.

Legal woes began to again mount in 2004, when DMX was arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport for allegedly claiming to be a federal agent and attempting to steal a car.

He eventually pleaded guilty to a reckless-endangerment charge, but was later jailed for violating his parole.

Over the next decade, DMX was arrested at least nine more times for charges ranging from reckless driving and driving under the influence to animal cruelty and drug possession.

Attempts to contact a representative for the rapper in response to the latest incident were unsuccessful.

No criminal charges had yet been filed Sunday afternoon, and Glover described the investigation as "active and ongoing."

Anyone with information is asked to call the Newark Police Department's tip line at 877-695-8477 or 877-695-4867.

Contact Alex Wigglesworth at 215-854-2305 or awigglesworth@philly.com. Follow @phila_lex on Twitter.
Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443; BreakingNewsDesk@philly.com. Follow @phillydotcom on Twitter.