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Jay-Z to be sued for Pimpin' track?

In the latest example of hip-hop’s ongoing relationship with litigation, Jay-Z could find himself on the receiving end of a lawsuit over a 12 year-old track.

Rolling Stone reports that the potential legal action concerns the 2000 single Big Pimpin’ which features extensive use of a sample from an Egyptian song. The nephew of the Egyptian composer Baligh Hamady is alleging that Jay-Z’s track has ruined his uncle's song Khosara, Khosara.

The nephew, Osama Ahmed Fahmy, is basing his claim on Egyptian copyright law which states that a songwriter has overall ownership and control of their material. He claims that Jay-Z’s track "mutilates" the original source material. Perhaps he didn’t approve of the title Big Pimpin’.

Artistic and aesthetic considerations aside, the action will mostly come down to the issue of money. Fahmy is thought to be demanding a cut of Jay-Z's profits dating back to 2000. He also wants a portion of revenue from live shows where the track has been performed. This squabble won’t be settled any time soon, with Jay-Z likely to counter-claim that he acquired the licence to use the source material on his track. There is also some dispute about the original ownership of Khosara, Khosara.

Just in case he faces a substantial payout, Jay-Z is keeping busy, touring with Kanye West to promote their Watch The Throne album. The duo have added new dates to their UK tour, playing Birmigham LG Arena on May 13 and 22, and Sheffield Motorpoint Arena on May 21.

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