Stephen M. Silverman
December 23, 2003 01:00 PM

Eminem is about to be unleashed after all, following a legal decision Monday to allow The Source magazine to publish CDs containing 20 seconds of a previously unreleased recording by the rapper in which he delivers such racially charged lyrics as “black girls are dumb.”

U.S. District Judge Gerald E. Lynch said limited reproduction of the recording falls within the magazine’s right to “fair use” of copyrighted material for the purpose of criticism, reports the Associated Press. The Source, which claims a readership of several million, has a long history of criticizing Eminem, and held a press conference last month to herald the discovery of his old recording, which was made before he became famous.

Source co-founder Raymond “Benzino” Scott, himself a rapper, has released several recordings attacking Eminem, who fired back in his own fashion, notes AP. The magazine also published a poster of Scott holding Eminem’s severed head.

At the press conference, The Source said it had obtained the recording from three former friends of Eminem, and that it included such passages as “Black girls are dumb, and white girls are good chicks.”

Eminem (real name: Marshall Mathers), 31, labeled the recording “foolishness” made by a teenager “out of anger, stupidity and frustration” after breaking up with a black girlfriend. Last week Judge Lynch granted the rapper a temporary restraining order preventing the magazine from distributing the CDs, but he has now partially reversed himself.

A lawyer for Eminem, Donald N. David, approved of the new decision. (The Source had lobbied the judge for permission to publish much longer excerpts.) “I don’t seek to prevent anyone from engaging in public discussion in a public forum,” David told AP.

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