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Music History

Listen to the 1957 Egyptian Song that Landed Jay Z a ‘Big Pimpin’ Lawsuit

The copyright lawsuit was dismissed in 2015

jay z big pimpin video

Last year, Jay Z and producer Timbaland won a copyright trial regarding a sample used in their iconic 1999 hit ‘Big Pimpin’. That song was the 1957 hit ‘Khosara Khosara’ by singer Abdel Halim Hafez and composer Baligh Hamdi:

It’s fascinating to hear the bold similarity of ‘Khosara Khosara’ to Timbaland’s final production. According to The Guardian, the lawsuit was dismissed when a District Attorney ruled that Osama Fahmy – heir to ‘Khosara Khosara’ composer Baligh Hamdi – “lacked the right to pursue a copyright infringement claim.”

Hip hop sampling has a long and complex history with copyright law, dating back to groundbreaking cases like De La Soul’s sample of The Turtles for their 1989 song ‘Transmitting Live from Mars.’

Here’s Jay Z’s video for ‘Big Pimpin’:

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