Three months after Nicki Minaj's Queen album was delayed over a rehearsal, the dispute has landed in court. Tracy Chapman's lawyer tells Billboard that he filed a lawsuit against Minaj in Los Angeles on Monday (October 22) for the unpublished "Sorry" track with Nas, who released the Text and melody of Chapman's track "Baby Can I Hold You"
Minaj's team made several requests to license the song from Chapman's self-titled debut, but according to vocalist longtime lawyer Lee Phillips, "Tracy Chapman is very protective of her rights she has the right to refuse a license if requested to do so. "Phillips adds that over the decades Chapman has potentially received" hundreds "of requests to sample or interpolate her music, and that, as far as he knows , never forgave one. In this case, it had nothing to do with Minaj or the quality of her song ̵
The lawsuit against Minaj (nee Onika Maraj) and ten other unnamed defendants stated that Chapman's representative "repeatedly denied" that Minaj's request to use the song after "Sorry" had already been recorded and that the title had been then New York DJ Funkmaster Flex leaked teasing on social media that Nicki had given him something "ft @ nas" that is "not on her Queen " album. " The song was then played on Hot 97 and spread quickly, according to Phillips on the Internet.
"This action is necessary to eliminate Maraj's disrespect and intentional violation of Chapman's rights under the Copyright Act and to ensure that her misconduct does not occur repeatedly," the suit reads. Since "Sorry" clearly incorporates the lyrics and vocal melody of Composition, her best-known and most memorable part, which includes "about half of the hurting work," Phillips was forced to file the claim on behalf of his client on the radio; The suit notes that "on or about July 16, 2018," Chapman's Business Manager informed Minaj's team that they would not agree to use the song.
Minaj's manager then claimed that Chapman's team had the "idea" [of Maraj’s] that is one of the most personal for them, inspired by [Chapman’s] that [Maraj] would have the opportunity to use [Chapman] over touchbase ( sic) to talk. Minaj later addressed Chapman in a tweet – Phillips says the singer has no social media presence – and directly asked Chapman to erase the license for the song. Minaj's now-deleted "Sis said no" tweet from August 11 may refer to Chapman, who refused to drop the sample. 19659002] After a series of tweets on August 11, Flex (née Aston George Taylor Jr.) played the song in his Hot 97 show, the song was then allegedly played on Power 105 The Breakfast Club two Days later, because the song has now spread far and wide – including to Nigeria – Phillips says it has become difficult to track down every location that has released it so far. The lawsuit seeks to prevent Minaj from "copying or otherwise exploiting or exploiting the infringing work" and preventing third parties from doing so, as well as harming Chapman by any gain made by Minaj. Click here to see a copy of the suit.
"There is no question that this is a violation," says Phillips, senior partner at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP. "If anyone asks what Nicki Minaj's defense will be, we have no idea."
A press spokesman for Minaj could not be reached for comment during the press time.