Back in August, we learned that after 15 years, Jay Z would have to testify in an absurdly complicated and long-standing lawsuit involving his hit song “Big Pimpin.’” Jay Z, who is being sued by the nephew of late Egyptian composer Baligh Hamdi for sampling Hamdi’s song “Khosara, Khosara” without proper licensing, was expected to take the stand in court next week along with the song’s producer, Timbaland. However, it now appears the trial may have hit another snag.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jay Z filed paperwork on Friday requesting to have the trial delayed on the grounds that Hamdi’s nephew, Osama Ahmed Fahmy, is playing games. He claims that Fahmy gave late notice to Jay Z’s lawyers that Fahmy would not be attending the trial due to a “medical condition,” and instead wants to use a deposition from six years ago as his testimony in order to “avoid cross-examination at trial.” Hov isn’t buying it and has requested that the court block Fahmy’s actions, and either order Fahmy to take the stand or throw out the dated deposition.
But Jay Z may have another reason for wanting the trial delayed: THR has also learned that records of how much Jay Z has profited from “Big Pimpin’” in the 15 years since its release could be made public at the trial, consequently unveiling top-secret details of his contract with events company Live Nation. His lawyers have likened that deal to the guarded formula for Coca-Cola, arguing that if those numbers were to be revealed in discussions of how much Fahmy could be awarded in damages, Live Nation would be unable to procure similar deals with other artists. In other words, if artists knew how much Jay Z was making per concert, they could have the upper hand in negotiations with Live Nation. (Though THR has already reported on Hov’s Live Nation earnings.) Jay Z had previously asked that the specifics of his ever-growing bank account be kept out of the trial.