We are doing presentations of songs and famous Egyptian singers in my amiyya class and I chose to present Abdel Halim Hafez, the “Dark Nightingale.” I did not know much about him other than that he has a beautiful voice and is one of the most-loved Egyptian singers, and in doing a bit of research on him I came across an interesting fact. Hip-hop producer Timbaland re-recorded two bars from Hafez’s song “Khosara” which were then used in Jay-z’s hit “Big Pimpin’. This of course caused a lot of controversy because Timbaland did not credit the song and was accused of copyright infringement, etc. However, I think he got off the hook because he did not sample the music but rather re-recorded it. Regardless, he should have credited Hafez at least out of respect to the man who was such an Egyptian musical giant.
If you have never heard Abdel Halim, I strongly suggest you check him out. A number of his albums can be found on Itunes. Abdel Halim also acted and here is a clip from the movie “Fata Ahlami (The Man of My Dreams)” in which he sings “Khosara.” See if you can recognize the first two bars.