This story goes back a few years, as Chapman filed the suit in 2018 when Minaj sampled Chapman’s 1988 song “Baby Can I Hold You” in her leaked song with Nas titled “Sorry.” According to reports from Pitchfork, Chapman’s settlement includes all costs and attorney fees connected to the case. Since Chapman finally accepted the rapper’s offer, these two won’t have to go to trial later this year.
Tracy Chapman first filed the lawsuit a couple of months after Nicki Minaj released her latest studio album Queen, on which “Sorry” was going to appear. It didn’t actually end up on the album, but somehow, it ended up in the hands of Funkmaster Flex, who premiered it on the radio without permission. Of course, the song made its way onto the internet, which is why Chapman ended up suing Minaj, saying that “Sorry” used her original lyrics.
Court documents show that Nicki and her team tried to get a license to Chapman’s composition, even though one of the clearance specialists dealing with the matter allegedly knew that Chapman was on the “do not sample list.” Minaj’s team attempted to get clearance anyway, but Chapman ultimately rejected their request.
Champman has released a statement through her legal team expressing that she’s happy with the final settlement.
“I am glad to have this matter resolved and grateful for this legal outcome which affirms that artists’ rights are protected by law and should be respected by other artists,” Tracy’s statement read.
“I was asked in this situation numerous times for permission to use my song; in each instance, politely and in a timely manner, I unequivocally said no,” she continued. “Apparently, Ms. Minaj chose not to hear and used my composition despite my clear and express intentions. As a songwriter and an independent publisher, I have been known to be protective of my work. I have never authorized the use of my songs for samples or requested a sample. This lawsuit was a last resort—pursued in an effort to defend myself and my work and to seek protection for the creative enterprise and expression of songwriters and independent publishers like myself.