Tracy Chapman has sued Nicki Minaj for copyright infringement, TMZ reports and Pitchfork can confirm. The suit, obtained by Pitchfork, concerns “Sorry,” Nicki’s unreleased track with Nas that interpolates Chapman’s “Baby Can I Hold You.”
In the suit, Chapman claims that Nicki’s song “incorporates the lyrics and vocal melody of [“Baby Can I Hold You”], its most recognizable and memorable parts.” And that Nicki used “these parts of [“Baby Can I Hold You”] without first seeking the authorization to do so.” In addition, the suit states that Champan’s track’s “lyrics and vocal melody comprise approximately half of [“Sorry”], and are easily recognizable and identifiable as Chapman’s.”
Chapman is suing Nicki for damages and an order to prevent Nicki and her team from releasing “Sorry.” Pitchfork has contacted representatives for Tracy Chapman and Nicki Minaj.
Shortly before the release of her new album Queen, Nicki Minaj publicly asked Tracy Chapman to clear a sample. Nicki later tweeted “Sis said no,” possibly referring to Chapman denying clearance. (Nicki has since deleted the tweet.) According to TMZ and the lawsuit, Nicki’s team “made multiple requests” in June to license “Baby Can I Hold You” and were consistently denied.
On August 11, Funkmaster Flex premiered Nicki’s “Sorry,” which has since been removed, although leaks and rips are available to hear.