Rapper Jay-Z has told a Los Angeles jury he was not aware there was a sample of Egyptian songwriter Baligh Hamdi’s 1957 song Khosara Khosara on his 1999 hit Big Pimpin’.
Jay-Z, real name Shawn Carter, and producer Timbaland are accused of using the melody from the song without permission.
The rapper testified for roughly 90 minutes in court on October 14.
“I didn’t think there was a sample in it,” Jay-Z said.
“Timbaland presented me with a track. I didn’t even think about there being a sample,” he continued.
Jay-Z’ss lawyers told the court Baligh Hamdi’s family had repeatedly been paid for use of the song.
Four notes from Khosara Khosara‘s 74 notes are repeated throughout Big Pimpin’, a music expert has testified.
Photo Getty Images
Asked why he did not thoroughly check out the rights to the track, Jay-Z replied: “That’s not what I do. I make music.
“I’m a rapper, I’ve got a clothing line, I run a label, a media label called Roc Nation, with a sports agency, music publishing and management. Restaurants and nightclubs … I think that about covers it.”
The rapper said he had a team of hundreds of people who dealt with his contracts and licensing.
Timbaland – real name Timothy Mosley – later told the court he had found Khosara Khosara on a CD of Arabic music labeled “license free”.
“I’m thinking it’s free music, free songs, and I sampled it,” he said.
Baligh Hamdi’s nephew, Osama Ahmed Fahmy, first filed a legal complaint in 2007, claiming the musicians had purposefully avoided asking permission because of Big Pimpin’s lyrics.
His lawyer, Peter Ross, has already told the court Jay-Z and Timbaland had infringed Baligh Hamdi’s “moral rights” – a legal concept he claimed was well-established in Egypt which would have required the musicians to get permission to use elements of Khosara Khosara in a song celebrating a promiscuous lifestyle.
Michael Jackson, who died in June 2009, would have been 55 today.
Though the King of Pop died four years ago at the age of 50, Twitter was full of birthday greetings and retrospectives of the late singer.
Michael Jackson, who died in June 2009, would have been 55 today
Also, producer Timbaland (Timothy Zachery Mosley) hinted at a new project that could include Michael Jackson’s vocals. In a teaser initially posted on YouTube’s Revolt TV channel, Timbaland talked about being approached by Epic Records executive L.A. Reid about a project that “would be like two kings working together.” Timbaland never mentions Michael Jackson’s name, but the singer’s image appears throughout the clip, which has appeared in several third-party versions since the original was removed from YouTube.
To celebrate his August 29 birth, Sony Music Entertainment is encouraging fans to share birthday wishes — and ideas for making the world a better place — by uploading an Instagram photo or video with hashtags #MJBDay or #MjWeAreOne.
Birthday.MichaelJackson.com will employ Instagram’s API to plot your submission on an interactive map, which lets users click and see other fans’ photos and videos.