Jay Z and Timbaland testified yesterday (Oct. 14) in court for the copyright infringement trial for their 2001 hit “Big Pimpin,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. They testified about their knowledge of the song “Khosara Khosara” being sampled on the track, which the original composer’s, Baligh Hamdi, nephew, Osama Fahmy, claims they did not have permission to do.
During his testimony, Jay said that when he first heard the track, clearing a sample didn’t cross his mind.
“I didn’t think there was a sample in it,” he said. “Timbaland presented me with a track. I didn’t even think about there being a sample.”
When asked why he didn’t check into the rights of the original song used, he replied “That’s not what I do. I make music.” He later said “There’s a team of hundreds of people, [clearing samples] is their job. That’s not my job.”
This lawsuit was filed in 2007 by Hamdi’s heirs, but Jay continued to sell the song and included it on a greatest hits album. Jigga said that he thought he was in the clear after music publisher EMI came to an agreement with the Egyptian company that had a deal with Hamdi’s nephews.
“There’s a number of things that occurred,” he said. “At some point there was a claim brought and then it was cleared up, and the rights were granted. I was under the understanding we had a license.”
Hamdi’s heirs argue that EMI didn’t have the right to grant any licenses to “Khosara Khosara” and did not have the “moral rights” to grant permission to others to change or reissue the song. Timbaland and Jay Z’s attorney claim that the EMI deal was valid and properly transferred the rights of the song.
When Timbaland testified, he claimed that his lawyer told him to pay a fee for the rights.
“Legal just told me, ‘$100 grand and you’re clear,'” he said.