Shawn Carter better known as rap juggernaut Jay-Z has a legal issue pending that may bring up his hard-knock past if a judge doesn’t stop it. Jay is accused of taking a song sample for his hit single “Big Pimpin” (video below) which featured UGK. The suit was brought in 2007 by a relative of an Egyptian composer named Baligh Hamdi, who said the tune ripped off Hamdi’s 1960 song “Khosara, Khosara.” The beat in question was made by legendary hip-hop producer Timbaland. Timbaland has stated in court papers that he thought he’d bought the rights. Timbaland whose real name is Tim Mosley was also named in the civil suit. Now that Jay-Z is an A list star with a Hollywood family, he is asking the judge to bar testimony about his criminal past and his current financial condition. Most people may not know that the Brooklyn native’s rap sheet includes arrests for weapons charges and a 1999 stabbing. Jay’s attorney had this to say about his clients criminal past:
“none of the defendants have been convicted of a crime within the last ten years… Any evidence or argument relating to any of the Defendants’ criminal histories should thus be excluded.”
and as for the reason behind keeping out his current finanancial situtaion:
“Of course, the real reason that Plaintiff wants to mention Defendants’ financial condition is to bias the jury against Defendants, emphasize their wealth, and artificially inflate the size of a potential damages award,” Bart wrote in court filings. “Accordingly, even if marginally relevant, this evidence is unduly prejudicial and should be excluded.”
Will Jay-Z be able to keep this information out of the mind of a jury. He has to wait and see how the judge rules on the issue. Both Jay Z and Timbaland are expected to testify in the trial, which is slated to start next month.