LATEST: Rap mogul Russell Simmons has been branded "irresponsible" for defending Eminem after a row erupted over a racist track the STAN star recorded a decade ago.

DAVID MAYS, co-founder of THE SOURCE magazine which exposed the recording, has stepped down from the Simmons-fronted HIP-HOP SUMMIT ACTION NETWORK's (HHSAN) board of directors, in protest at Simmons accepting Eminem's apology for the song.

Last week (ends21NOV03), the American publication released a 10-year-old tape of Eminem rapping disrespectful lyrics about African-American women, prompted by the acrimonious break-up of a youthful relationship with a black girl.

Mays says in a statement, "Russell Simmons' rush to defend Eminem over his racist lyrics is disturbing and disappointing to me. This is not the Russell I've known and admired for many years as a strong leader of the hip-hop movement."

Mays is adamant he will not rejoin HHSAN's board until Simmons reveals what financial ties the organisation may have to Eminem and his label INTERSCOPE RECORDS.

The magazine's other co-founder RAYMOND 'BENZINO' SCOTT says, "First and foremost Eminem owes a true apology as well as a more detailed explanation to the black community and to black women for these offensive lyrics.

"Perhaps Eminem can be a more powerful force in uniting poor people from the trailer parks to the projects. But we must use this situation to explore that idea more closely."

25/11/2003 13:23