A 1960s Egyptian singer’s estate, who has been trying to hold Jay Z and Timbaland responsible for stealing a song to make their 1999 smash hit, “Big Pimpin’,” will finally get its day in court.
The Guardian has learned that an heir of Abdel Halim Hafez got a judge to rule in his favor on March 30 to send the case–which has been ongoing since 2007–to court this coming October. The sample that was allegedly infringed on comes from a song named “Khosara Khosara” which was featured on a 1960 film titled Fata Ahlami. Hafez’s heir, a man named Osama Ahmed Fahmy, is also blaming the record label, EMI Arabia, did not have the rights to license “Khosara Khosara” for the Hip-Hop legends to use at their disposal.
“They used it with a song that even by Jay Z’s own admission is very vulgar and base,” Fahmy’s lawyer, Keith Wesley, tells The Guardian. “That’s really why this is so significant to my client. They not only took music without paying. They’re using it in a song that is, frankly, disgusting.”
A motion was also filed earlier this year blaming Jay Z’s lyrics for distorting “Khosara Khosara’s” original message and meaning.
“This case is a perfect example of the importance of the requirement that a copyright owner be afforded the opportunity to consider any potential sublicense of his copyright,” a part of the motion reads.
Ironically, Jay Z (born Shawn Carter) has adjusted his views to mirror what Wesley is suggesting, especially in lieu of celebrating his seventh wedding anniversary with Beyoncé . In a 2011 interview with The Wall Street Journal for his Decoded lyrics book, he shocked himself upon reading the “Big Pimpin'” lyrics saying, “It was like, ‘I can’t believe I said that. And kept saying it. What kind of animal would say this sort of thing? Reading it is really harsh’.”
Photo: Paramount Classics