Published Oct 23, 2018Tracy Chapman is suing Nicki Minaj for copyright infringement over an unreleased song from the rapper's recent Queen album.
Chapman's lawsuit concerns Minaj's Nas-assisted track "Sorry," which interpolates her 1988 song "Baby Can I Hold You," both Pitchfork and TMZ report. Chapman claims in the suit that Minaj's song "incorporates the lyrics and vocal melody of ['Baby Can I Hold You'], its most recognizable and memorable parts."
The suit adds that Minaj used "these parts of Baby Can I Hold You]] without first seeking the authorization to do so," also claiming that the interpolation of "lyrics and vocal melody comprise approximately half of ['Sorry'], and are easily recognizable and identifiable as Chapman's."
Chapman is suing Minaj for damages, in addition to an order to prevent the rapper from releasing "Sorry."
Ahead of Queen's release, Minaj made an effort to reach out to Chapman on Twitter (though Chapman doesn't use the site) in hopes of getting the sample cleared. Minaj later wrote that "Sis said no" in a now-deleted tweet, potentially referencing a denial from Chapman.
Pitchfork notes that both TMZ and the lawsuit reference "multiple requests" that came from Minaj's camp in June to license the song, which were consistently denied.