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Flavor Flav pleads not guilty in speeding case

Rapper Flavor Flav, whose legal name is William

Rapper Flavor Flav, whose legal name is William Jonathan Drayton, appears in First District Court in Hempstead, where he pleaded not guilty to all charges from when he was caught speeding and driving without a license on his way to his mother's funeral on Jan. 9. He is due back in court on Friday in Mineola. (Jan. 28, 2014) Credit: Howard Schnapp

Roosevelt-born rapper Flavor Flav pleaded not guilty Tuesday to multiple charges stemming from his arrest earlier this month after he was pulled over on the Meadowbrook State Parkway.

The rapper, whose real name is William Drayton, walked out of a Hempstead courthouse after the hearing and said "God is good, G.I.G." and wished everyone "the most prosperous 2014."

Drayton, 54, a former reality television star known for his signature gold teeth and outsized personality, later answered questions from reporters on everything from his pick to win the Super Bowl -- the Broncos -- to the legalization of marijuana in New York -- he's for it.

He was arrested Jan. 9 by a State Police trooper after he was clocked going 79 mph in a 55-mph section of the southbound Meadowbrook State Parkway near the Southern State Parkway in Hempstead, state police said. Drayton was driving a Hyundai when the trooper stopped him, authorities said.

His Bronx attorney, Indji Bessim, said the original member of the seminal Roosevelt rap group Public Enemy had 16 license suspensions when he was stopped. But starting last Wednesday, Bessim said she went to several courts with Drayton, including stops in Queens, Hempstead and even a visit to a court in North Hills before Tuesday's court appearance.

"Anything he had outstanding is now cleared up and rectified," she said after the hearing.

For his part, the rapper said he was counting on prosecutors considering his situation at the time he was pulled over: He told troopers he was on his way to Roosevelt for the funeral of his mother.

Before he was pulled over, the rapper had announced on Twitter that his mother, Anna Drayton, had died on Dec. 31. Drayton, who lives in Las Vegas, is scheduled to appear back in District Court in Mineola Friday.

"I'm hoping that the courts would have mercy," he said after yesterday's hearing, bedecked in toned-down version of his signature fashion statement -- a clock pendant around his neck. "I'm hoping they would have a heart and dismiss it because of the circumstances."

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