Nicki Minaj is being sued by singer Tracy Chapman over the unauthorized use of her lyrics and vocal melody from her song, “Baby, Can I Hold You,” that is currently being used in Minaj’s “Sorry” song.
“Sorry” includes many of the lyrics from Chapman’s “Baby, Can I Hold You.” In fact, as TMZ points out, Tracy Champman is claiming that the song “comprises half of the lyrics and vocal melody” of Minaj’s song, “Sorry.”
According to CNN, the suit is claiming that “Minaj and her representatives began reaching out in June 2018 about using the song.” However, permission was denied from Chapman’s end.
NBC News states that the lawsuit was issued on Monday in a Los Angeles federal court. It is also believed that Minaj was denied access to sampling Chapman’s work several times.
“Sorry” was not included on her most recent album, Queen. TMZ reports that Nicki Minaj removed the song from the album but is reported to have tweeted on the day of the song being played that “Sis said no.” This tweet has since been deleted but it is believed that Nicki Minaj was making a reference to the fact that Tracy Chapman refused inclusion of lyrics and melodies from “Baby, Can I Hold You” being used in “Sorry.”
While “Sorry” was not eventually included in the album, Queen, Tracy Chapman is claiming in the lawsuit that Nicki Minaj had given the song to a New York DJ, Funkmaster Flex, at HOT 97, who then promoted the song. As a result of this, users then picked up the song and shared it across the internet, leading to further use of the song and Tracy’s unlicensed lyrics and melodies.
Tracy Chapman Sues Nicki Minaj Over the Song 'Baby Can I Hold You' https://t.co/7bTvyvG1Yi— TMZ (@TMZ) October 23, 2018
Uproxx reports that Tracy Chapman is suing for lost royalties from the song, “Sorry.” She is also requesting that “an order prohibiting Nicki from putting the song out or performing it” be placed on the singer.
As yet, Nicki Minaj has not made a public statement on the lawsuit placed against her by Tracy Chapman.
Tracy Chapman signed on with Elektra Records in 1987 and burst onto the music scene in 1988 with her debut, self-titled, album. That album was a multi-platinum worldwide hit. Chapman followed up this success with six more studio albums. Her most recent album is titled Our Bright Future and was released in 2008.
Nicki Minaj, born Onika Tanya Maraj, is a rapper and singer. She received public recognition in 2007 with her debut mixtape, Playtime Is Over, and her success has continued on since then to the present day. Minaj is believed to have had the most Billboard Hot 100 inclusions for a female performer across all genres.