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Tracy Chapman sues Nicki Minaj for copyright infringement

on October 23, 2018, 10:41am

Despite her best efforts, Nicki Minaj was unable to clear a collaboration with Nas called “Sorry” in time for the release of her latest effort, Queen. “Sorry” is built around a sample of Shelly Thunder’s track of the same name, which is a cover of Tracy Chapman’s “Baby Can I Hold You”. According to Minaj, Chapman refused to grant her permission to sample the track. Though “Sorry” was left off of Queen, Minaj sent the track to New York DJ Funkmaster Flex, who played it on his radio show.

Now, Chapman has filed a lawsuit against Minaj, according to TMZ. Chapman is reportedly seeking statutory damages as well as an order prohibiting Minaj from ever releasing the song again. Chapman contends “Sorry” comprises half of the lyrics and vocal melody of her own song, and that she repeatedly denied Minaj’s request for clearance. She points to Minaj’s own tweet in which she said, “Sis said no ????????‍♀️,” after learning Chapman had declined her request.

In a since-deleted tweet, Minaj said she “had no clue [‘Sorry’] sampled the legend [Chapman]” and sent a plea over social media asking Chapman  to clear the song — all to no avail.

Take a listen to Minaj’s “Sorry” — for as long as it remains online — below.

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