Nicki Minaj and Tracy Chapman have finally settled their copyright infringement lawsuit over the rapper’s unreleased cut, “Sorry.”
According to reports, documents filed in the U.S. District Court in California’s Central District revealed that Chapman agreed to Minaj’s offer of judgement and will be receiving $450,000 USD. The two will not go to trial.
The lawsuit dates back to October 2018 when Chapman claimed that Minaj and Nas’ collab “Sorry” utilized the lyrics and vocal melody of her 1998 single, “Baby Can I Hold You.” In July 2018, a formal request from Minaj’s team supposedly mentioned that she wanted to “interpolate” Chapman’s work, but the request was denied by the singer/songwriter’s publishing representatives a few days later.
Chapman further asserted that Minaj had already recorded “Sorry” and that the rapper’s team was anticipating Chapman’s hesitation even before the formal request was made. An investigative note from music clearance company DMG was also sent to Chapman’s team in late June, supposedly claiming that an unnamed ”A list artist” was interested in using “Baby Can I Hold You,” also enquiring if Chapman was still on an unofficial ”do not sample or interpolate” list.
Minaj claimed in now-deleted July 2018 tweets that she was unaware of the interpolation on “Sorry” and reached out to Chapman via Twitter for clearance. “Do I keep my [release] date & lose the record? Or do I lose the record & keep my date?” she asked fans on the platform. “Ugh! I’m torn, y’all help.”
“Sorry” did not end up making it on Minaj’s August 2018 album Queen, however the song leaked online and on Funkmaster Flex’s Hot 97 FM show.
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