Jay Z’s “Big Pimpin'” was synonymous with the 1990s. Hov and UGK’s verses had everyone rapping along, but it was Timbaland’s beat that made it iconic. Now, a lawsuit surrounding Timbo’s sample of an Egyptian composition will finally go to trial this October.
The Hollywood Reporter reports that the superproducer originally used a CD he believed was public domain that contained Middle Eastern music. Later on, a foreign subsidiary of EMI identified it as the Baligh Hamdi composition “Khosara, Khosara” from the 1960 Egyptian film Fata ahlami. According to THR, “ EMI claimed rights stemming from a deal with an Egyptian outfit that had made its own agreement with Hamdi's heirs.” Timbo paid $100,000 to EMI for rights to use the sample and this payment was meant to end any legal dispute. It obviously didn’t.
Instead, Hov and Timbo are involved in one of the longest-running active lawsuits, and they are both set to testify on Oct. 13, as court documents have stated.
The lawsuit was filed in 2007 in California federal court from Osama Ahmed Fahmy, who is the nephew of Hamdi. THR has gathered that Fahmy is targeting, “Jay Z, Timbaland, EMI, Universal Music, Paramount Pictures (over a Jay Z documentary), MTV (over a Jay Z special) and others.”
Jay Z and his lawyers believe they properly licensed “Khosara, Khosara.” After Timbo made his $100,000 deal, Fahmy reached an agreement with the Egyptian outfit that had given him EMI rights. The Hamdi heirs got a lump-sum buyout in exchange for getting the song’s rights. Fahmy’s lawyers say something entire different:
"The evidence will show that the defendants did not enter into valid agreements that 'expressly and in detail' — including indicating the range, purpose, and period and place of exploitation — convey the right to use 'Khosara, Khosara' in 'Big Pimpin'," states the plaintiff's memorandum. "The evidence will also show that the defendants did not obtain the consent of the author or his heirs to introduce modifications in or additions toKhosara Khosara; therefore, any license to economically exploit ‘Khosara Khosara’ in ‘Big Pimpin'' would be null and void."
Fahmy’s lawyers plan to call Judith Finell, who was the same musicologist involved in the “Blurred Lines” case. Others include Dr. Patrick Kennedy (an economist), Dr. Michael Kamins (a marketing expert) and Sam Rubin (an entertainment reporter), who will all weigh in on the “Big Pimpin” lawsuit. The trial will also have some of the top entertainment lawyers involved.
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(Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images, Paras Griffin/Getty Images for ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Department)