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Harmonica Player Claims

'Timber' Ripped My Riff

6/26/2014 12:20 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

SF Bay LaunchTimber Launch

Pitbull and Kesha may have unknowingly dabbled in stolen goods when they recorded "Timber"  ... so says a songwriter who claims the song is a rip-off of one of his tunes.

Lee Oskar -- a self-proclaimed world-famous harmonicist -- says his 1978 song "San Francisco Bay" features a catchy harmonica riff ... the same riff you hear in "Timber" -- but in a faster tempo.

Oskar says it's no coincidence either.  He claims in court docs the harmonica player on "Timber" was instructed to mimic Oskar's performance on "SF Bay."

"Timber" went on to became a huge hit in the U.S. and Europe. Now Oskar's suing the record company for at least $3 mil.  He's not going after Pitbull or Kesha.

So we gotta ask ...


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No doubt about it. It's a rip-oof.

120 days ago

Just Steve    

I have a hard time finding out why anyone would want to listen to either of these 2 bimbos on a track. Didn't know I was on old mcdonalds farm

120 days ago


Total ripoff ... Lee Oskar is a legend ... have some respect

120 days ago


Pay the Guy! his Due!

120 days ago


Hate that stupid song

120 days ago


TMZ! Get it straight! That picture of "Lee Oskar" is NOT, Lee Oskar. That's the current faux harmonica player for the current faux band called "WAR". It's bad enough that the legendary Lee Oskar is forgotten for being the original harmonica player for the original WAR band, because the right to call himself an original member of WAR was taken from him and his WAR bandmates by their former producer, and now you're confusing WAR fans even more. The more original WAR band that diehard WAR fans follow is now called the LOWRIDER BAND. You can find Lee Oskar on their website, so you know what he looks like. WAR vs the REAL WAR aka LOWRIDER BAND: Let me see you do a story about that!

120 days ago


That harmonica player that's filing a lawsuit, which is not the guy in the picture above, is none other than the legendary original harmonica player for the original WAR band, Lee Oskar. Everybody knows, samples, steals his music, but they just don't know they know him. 'Lowrider', 'Why Can't We Be Friends?', 'The World Is A Ghetto', 'Cisco Kid', 'All Day Music', 'Spill The Wine', and all WAR music. Lee Oskar is not just any harmonica player, and Pitbull would have done better to collaborate with Lee instead of steal from him.

120 days ago


Its obviously stolen. How terribly 70's is that song tho??? Can't stand Kesha so whatever takes her no talent butt off my radio I'm all for it!!

120 days ago


That's a pic of Stanly Behrens! Not lee Oskar is the real War Band now the lowrider band!

120 days ago

Barbara Doppes    

pittbull collaborates with flo rida (whom i adore) / anyway- flo rida's and pittbull's - 'i can't believe it' riff/ was also 'purchased' / but they acknowledge it

120 days ago

Rick LAne    

Rick Lane~~ I hope EVERYBODY KNOW that WE of the Bloody Jug Band had NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS other than doing what was asked of us at the shoot. We we're just the band that has been seen 300,000,000 times in Timber

120 days ago


I can't believe TMZ didn't even Google Lee Oskar! If they did, they would've known who he is and realize they've heard his harmonica many times before {hint: George Lopez). If you're really interested about War, find their connection to Sly Stone. That's a real Hollywood story!

120 days ago

L. Ron Hubbard    

Those two talentless "artists" probably had to steal others ideas!

120 days ago

tom keller    

Why do you have a picture of War's harp player Stanley Behrens in this piece?

119 days ago


gave it a good 3 listens... the song really sounds like it! It's as if you could put Kesha's voice over his 20 second intro and it would fit perfectly. Wasn't expecting that. Pay up!!!

119 days ago
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