"Big Pimpin'" is a song by American rapper Jay-Z. It was released on April 11, 2000 as the third and final single from his fourth studio album Vol. 3... Life and Times of S. Carter (1999). It features a guest appearance from Southern hip hop duo UGK, and production from Timbaland.

"Big Pimpin'"
Single by Jay-Z featuring UGK
from the album Vol. 3... Life and Times of S. Carter
ReleasedApril 11, 2000
GenreHip hop
Jay-Z singles chronology
"Big Pimpin'"
"Hey Papi"
UGK singles chronology
"Sippin' on Some Syrup"
"Big Pimpin'"
"Let Me See It"
Music video
"Big Pimpin' ft. UGK" on YouTube

Sampling controversy edit

"Big Pimpin'" contained a sample of "Khosara Khosara", an instrumental performed by Hossam Ramzy and originally composed by Egyptian composer Baligh Hamdi in 1957. In 2007, Hamdi's relative Osama Ahmed Fahmy filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Federal Court alleging that producer Timbaland's use of the track was unlicensed, while its use of a sampled loop, instead of the full unaltered track, violated Hamdi's "moral rights".[1] He additionally claimed that Jay-Z needed permission from each of Hamdi's four children to use the track, as they owned its copyright after Hamdi's death in 1993.[1] That same year, a 2005 lawsuit filed by Ahab Joseph Nafal, who claimed "Big Pimpin'" infringed the copyright on "Khosara Khosara", was dismissed.[2]

In 2011, a California federal judge ruled that Fahmy could proceed with his suit, with Jay-Z, Timbaland, Linkin Park and EMI Records among the defendants named. Linkin Park was included because the track was mashed up with the single "Papercut" from their 2004 EP Collision Course, a collaboration with Jay-Z.[3] Lawyers for EMI Records argued the then-50-year-old track was governed by the 1909 Copyright Act.[4] Jay-Z testified four years later that he was unaware his song contained a sample of "Khosara Khosara", and when asked why he did not check the rights to its use, he replied, "That’s not what I do. I make music."[1] Lawyers for Jay-Z and Timbaland claimed that Hamdi's family had been paid for the sample. On May 31, 2018, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Jay-Z, et al.[5]

Music video edit

The music video was shot in Trinidad during its Carnival, and features Jay-Z and Bun B on a music truck dispensing money into the crowd and partying on a lavish yacht. Due to Pimp C's refusal to fly to Trinidad, his verse and the video's closing scenes were filmed in Miami Beach, Florida.[6]

In 2009, comedy trio Lonely Island filmed a parody video for their single "I'm on a Boat".[7]

Reception edit

"Big Pimpin'" was the most successful single from Vol. 3... Life and Times of S. Carter, peaking at #18 on the Billboard Hot 100 and topping the Rhythmic Top 40 chart while achieving platinum status. Rolling Stone ranked the track #467 on its 2004 selection of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time".[8] However, Jay-Z said to The Wall Street Journal in 2010 that he regretted the song's lyrics. "Some [lyrics] become really profound when you see them in writing. Not 'Big Pimpin'. That's the exception. It was like, 'I can't believe I said that. And kept saying it. What kind of animal would say this sort of thing?' Reading it is really harsh."[9]

Formats and track listings edit

CD edit

  1. "Big Pimpin' (Radio Edit)"
  2. "Watch Me (LP Version)"
  3. "Big Pimpin' (Instrumental)"
  4. "Big Pimpin' (Video)"

Vinyl edit

A-side edit

  1. "Big Pimpin' (Album Version)" (4:05)

B-side edit

  1. "Watch Me (LP Version)" (4:34)
  2. "Big Pimpin' (Instrumental)" (4:57)

Charts edit

Certifications edit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[20] Silver 200,000
United States (RIAA)[21] Platinum 1,000,000

Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b c Beauchemin, Molly (October 15, 2015). "Jay Z Testifies in "Big Pimpin'" Trial: "I Didn't Think There Was A Sample In It"". Pitchfork. Retrieved April 17, 2022.
  2. ^ "Ahab Joseph Nafal v. Shawn Carter et al". plainsite.org. Retrieved April 16, 2022.
  3. ^ "Gyp the System". Wayneandwax.com. September 12, 2007. Retrieved June 13, 2012.
  4. ^ Nolan Strong (September 4, 2007). "Rappers Jay-Z, Timbaland Sued Over 'Big Pimpin' Melody". Allhiphop.com. Archived from the original on September 19, 2011. Retrieved June 13, 2012.
  5. ^ "FAHMY V. JAY-Z" (PDF).
  6. ^ Slavik, Nathan. "The Insane Story of How Pimp C Hated the "Big Pimpin" Beat, Refused to Travel for Video Shoot". DJBooth. Retrieved October 13, 2020.
  7. ^ Regan, Michael (March 26, 2010). "Music Video Clichés No.3 – Boats N' Hoes". NME.com. Archived from the original on May 6, 2010. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
  8. ^ Staff (December 11, 2003). "500 Greatest Songs of All Time (2004)". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 16, 2022.
  9. ^ Jurgensen, John (October 21, 2010). "Just Asking – Decoding Jay-Z". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on October 13, 2015. Retrieved June 13, 2011.
  10. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 14, 2023.
  11. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 14, 2023.
  12. ^ "Official Dance Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 14, 2023.
  13. ^ "Official Hip Hop and R&B Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 14, 2023.
  14. ^ "Jay-Z Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  15. ^ "Jay-Z Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard.
  16. ^ "Jay-Z Chart History (Hot Rap Songs)". Billboard.
  17. ^ "Jay-Z Chart History (Rhythmic)". Billboard.
  18. ^ "Billboard Top 100 – 2000". billboardtop100of.com. Retrieved May 22, 2021.
  19. ^ "2000 The Year in Music". Billboard. Vol. 112, no. 53. December 30, 2000. p. YE-56. Retrieved May 22, 2021.
  20. ^ "British single certifications – Jay-Z – Big Pimpin'". British Phonographic Industry.
  21. ^ "American single certifications – Jay-Z – Big Pimpin'". Recording Industry Association of America.

External links edit