Rhymes beats machete rap

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NEW YORK -- A judge ruled Tuesday that prosecutors could not charge Busta Rhymes with possession of a weapon -- a machete found inside a sport utility vehicle -- following his Aug. 12 arrest on an assault charge.

Rhymes, 34, appeared at the brief hearing before Criminal Court Judge Shawndya Simpson. The judge rejected a prosecution request for the additional charge against the rapper.

According to prosecutor Harrison Schweiloch, a machete was found in the rear seat pocket of an SUV in which Rhymes was a passenger when he was arrested following a performance at the AmsterJam Music Festival on Randall's Island.

Rhymes, whose real name is Trevor Smith, was charged with assault after he allegedly attacked a man for spitting on his car. He is due back in court Dec. 11.

The rapper, who wore two large diamond stud earrings, a gem-encrusted watch and a diamond pinkie ring, said nothing during the hearing. But he took a minute to tell the courtroom sketch artists, "I love it when you make me look good."

He left the courthouse in a crush of photographers, camera crews and reporters, climbing into a black SUV.

Rhymes' hits include "Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See" "Dangerous" and "Touch It." He has also appeared in films, including 2000's "Shaft" and "Finding Forrester."