Rappers Jay-Z, Timbaland Sued Over ‘Big Pimpin’ Melody

Another song produced by superstar rapper Timbaland is in question, as rap star Jay-Z and the producer have been hit with a lawsuit over the single “Big Pimpin.”

Copyright co-owner Osama Admed Fahmy filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Federal Court, claiming that Timbaland illegally replayed portions of “Big Pimpin” note-for-note, using a melody lifted from the song “Khosara, Khosara” which was written by composer Baligh Hamdi and performed by Egyptian star Abdel-Halim Hafez in 1957.

“Big Pimpin,” which is taken from Jay-Z’s hit album Vol. 3… Life and Times of S. Carter also features Texas rap legends UGK and hit #1 in 1999.

Jay-Z, Timbaland, Linkin Park, EMI Music Inc. are among the defendants named in the lawsuit over the hit single, which was also mashed up on Linkin Park’s song “Papercut” on the EP Collision Course.

On August 3, 2007, a similar lawsuit was dismissed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, when EMI won a summary judgment in the case.

Plaintiff Ahab Joseph Nafal also sued Jay-Z, Timbaland Productions, Linkin Park, EMI Music Inc., EMI Music Publishing, Ltd. and EMI Blackwood Music, claiming that the artists infringed on the copyright to “Khosara, Khosara.”

Lawyers argued that “Khosara, “Khosara” was created in 1957 and was governed by the 1909 Copyright Act and not the 1976 Copyright Act.

The lawsuit was subsequently dismissed because Nafal failed to join all individuals with rights to the composition in the lawsuit, as the 1909 Act mandates.

Other copyright owners of “Khosara, Khosara” include Magdi El-Amroussi, owner of the legendary Soutelphan (Voice of the Artist) record label, which launched in 1961 and ironically, operates as a unit of EMI Arabia.

The original lawsuit was filed in April of 2005.