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Seamy secrets of rap rag

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Working in the Union Square offices of The Source - the reputed "bible" of hip-hop culture - was like spending time trapped and humiliated inside a raunchy rap video, according to testimony in Manhattan federal court yesterday by the magazine's first female top editor.

In a full day on the witness stand, hip-hopping-mad ex-editrix Kimberly Osario - who is suing the magazine and its co-owners for sex discrimination - described, sometimes tearfully, being subjected routinely to misogynist comments and sexual come-ons.

Marijuana smoke wafted from the executive offices. Pictures of women in thongs - or less - hung from the walls.

The language was obscene, with Osario and her female colleagues continually degraded as "bitches" and "sluts," she said.

Along the way, Osario fired with both barrels at defendant Raymond "Benzino" Scott - a co-owner of The Source who is also a rap artist - portraying him as a hip-hop horndog who boasted of having bedded artists Foxy Brown, Trina and Lil' Kim.

"He was telling me it was OK for men and women to have sex, that's what they do," she said of the allegedly raunchy rap Romeo.

He kept away from Ashanti, Scott bragged while ogling her R-rated photo on the July 2003 cover, Osario testified. "Ah, she looks so good on that cover," Scott panted. "She's got a phat p-y. But I can't."

"That's Irv's piece," Osario said Scott told her, a reference to Ashanti's record label, The Inc., run by Irv Gotti.

But Scott was a hater as well as a lover, Osario said, dishing still more hip-hop industry dirt. Scott repeatedly commissioned negative pieces on his perceived female enemies, including the hosts and program director of radio station Hot 97.

"She was on her knees as an intern" here, he bragged of one Hot 97 show host.

He sent back a commissioned article on Hot 97 host Angie Martinez because "it wasn't vicious enough" about her sex habits, Osario said.

"If I had to make something up, make something up," she said he demanded. The eventual article, titled "Hot Air" and running in the April 2005 issue, ran under an alias because the author yanked his byline in protest.

True to reputation, Scott was forced yesterday to stand in court and defend himself against claims by Osario's lawyer that when she first took the stand on Thursday, Scott raised his middle finger and "grimaced" at her.

"No, sir. No, your honor," Scott insisted when questioned yesterday by the judge, who said he himself didn't notice any such diss.

Much of Scott's bile was reserved for her, Osario said.

Whenever she suggested a male artist for the cover, Scott would sneer, "You only want to do this because you're f-ing them."

Copyright 2006 NYP Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved.

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