Jay-Z vs. Abdel Halim Hafez


This has been in the courts since 2007. Seems like Jay-Z and producer Timbaland didn’t have all of their ducks in a row when they released “Big Pimpin'”. The now famous melody was sourced from Egyptian singer Abdel Halim Hafez. Have a listen and then have a look at some press quotes below.

Jay-Z - "Big Pimpin'" (1997)
Abdel Halim Hafez - "Khosara Khosara" (1960)

In 2007, the song sparked controversy when copyright co-owner Osama Ahmed Fahmy filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Federal Court, alleging that Timbaland illegally replayed portions of “Khosara Khosara” note-for-note. Jay-Z, Timbaland, Linkin Park and EMI Music Inc. were among the defendants named in the lawsuit.

This latest lawsuit follows an August (2007) decision by a California judge to dismiss another lawsuit by Ahab Joseph Nafal, who claimed Big Pimpin’ infringed the copyright on Khosara Khorasa. Lawyers for EMI Records argued the 50-year-old track was governed by the 1909 Copyright Act, AllHipHop.com reports.

source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Pimpin%27

An attorney for Hamdi’s heir contends the artists and their labels never obtained the proper permission from Hamdi’s heirs to use “Khosara Khosara.”

Lawyers for the pair, however, say proper permission to use the flute notes was obtained in 2001, Hamdi’s nephew has been paid for its usage and the case should be decided in Jay Z and Timbaland’s favor.

source: http://www.voanews.com/content/big-pimpin-dispute-could-be-settled-soon-for-rapper-jay-z/3012646.html


“He said that at the time, when Timbaland introduced the “Khosara Khosara” melody to him, he had no clue that it was a sample composition of Egyptian composer Hamdi.”

“Pete Ross, the counsel for the prosecution, has said in a statement that according to Egyptian Law, both Jay-Z and Timbaland are obliged to get direct approval from Hamdi or his estate before using vulgar and demeaning lyrics over “Khosara Khosara” track in “Big Pimpin.”

“Testimony in the case will draw to a close on Tuesday, and then it will be up to an eight-person jury to wade through a complicated series of contracts, correspondence and agreements that span three continents.

They’ve heard directly from Jay Z and Timbaland, who explained how “Big Pimpin’ ” came together and why they believe they have the right to use the “Khosara Khosara” notes.

Timbaland, whose real name is Timothy Mosley, paid $100,000 in 2001 to settle an out-of-court claim from a record company with rights to distribute Hamdi’s music outside Egypt.

It would be another six years before Hamdi’s nephew, Osama Ahmed Fahmy, sued Mosley and Jay Z for copyright infringement. Fahmy also asserts the raunchy lyrics of “Big Pimpin’ ” violate the “moral rights” of his uncle’s work, although that legal concept is enforceable only in Egypt and Jay Z’s lyrics are not an issue in the case.

Toward the end of his testimony Wednesday, Mosley told jurors his reaction to Fahmy’s lawsuit when it emerged so many years after “Big Pimpin’ ” was created: “So, who did I pay 100 grand to?””

source: http://www.ibtimes.com.au/jay-z-attends-copyright-infringement-trial-over-big-pimpin-1475456

Here is the original song from a scene in the 1960 film “El Banat Wel Seif (Girls and Summer)”


But WAIT! There’s More!

Check out these other Jay-Z soundalike gems:

Jay-Z vs. Ice-T vs. Trick Daddy – 99 Problems but….

Jay-Z vs. Bruno Spoerri: Jay-Z to pay Swiss jazz musician 50% of royalties


King’s X vs. Monster Dog

King's X vs. Monster Dog

I was recently contacted by the bassist of a band called Monster Dog who in the late 90s were victim to the ol’ big-signed-band-hears-cool-riff-of-small-local-band-and-steals-it story. The band brushed it off but years later when King’s X bassist made some interesting statements in a July 2014 interview for London Groove Machine the score had to be settled.

King's X - "Groove Machine" (1998)
Monster Dog - "Slacker" (1996)


Have a peak at this excerpt from Pinnick’s July 2014 interview with London Groove Machine.

dUg Pinnick: And there is an anxiety that happens also when I sit down to write. I’m going, ‘Oh God, what am I gonna come up with?’ And then all of a sudden the floodgates fly open, because I start thinking of all the music I’ve listened to for the last 60-some years. And so I just find the things that I love, steal them, change them around a little bit, and call them my own. Basically what all of us musicians are is just plagiarists. We just write what we’ve heard. We never come up with anything original. The more information you get, the more you can make music that will fool everyone to think that it’s original. Get what I’m saying?

London Groove Mmachine: My band is ripping off King’s X all the time. I know exactly what you’re talking about.

dUg: I have no problem with that, because I have ripped off everybody I can think of [laughs].

After reading this interview with Dug Pinnick, Odie from Monster Dog had a few words to say about it to MetalSucks. It’s not always about the money Odie told me in his own email. “Kings X is a very respected band. Musicians and music fans agree. I never cared about suing for money, or damaging their career. But for them to recognize, and credit the source of inspiration of their song, Groove Machine. It’s the right, and only thing to do.”


Muse vs. The Offspring


The Offspring does it again. I really thought I was listening to Muse when I first heard “Coming for You”. Check out the overall beat and bass line:

The Offspring - "Coming for You" (2015)

Muse - "Uprising" (2009)

Now to top it off, have a listen to the distinct little lick that closes out the choruses:

The Offspring - "Coming for You" (2015)

Muse - "Uprising" (2009)

See also:

Belle & Sebastian vs. The Offspring

The Beatles vs. The Offspring

The Doors vs. Muse

Maroon 5 vs. Muse

Muse vs. Top Gear (Super NES)