Singer Tracy Chapman has just won a lawsuit between her colleague Nicki Minaj over a copyright case. Quickly, to make your mouth water: Tracy Chapman refused to authorize Nicki Minaj to sample one of her tracks, only to find that the newly formed track had leaked on the radio.
Sampling in music is not new, but all along it is best to be honest with all parties involved when using it. A few years ago, while recording her fourth studio album Queen (released in 2018), Nicki Minaj wanted to 'sample' Tracy Chapman's song “Baby Can I Hold You” for a track called “Sorry”.
As reported by Entertainment Weekly , a request for authorization was made to Tracy Chapman, who then expressed a refusal. This is why the owners of Queen were not able to take advantage of an official physical support for “Sorry”. However, this did not prevent them, among other audiences, from discovering this title by another means.
Nicki Minaj would have broadcast a forbidden title on the radio
It turns out that “Sorry” was leaked anyway, on popular New York radio DJ Funkmaster Flex. It is even said that the broadcast would have come directly from Nicki Minaj. Tracy Chapman then filed a complaint.
Nicki Minaj suggested that a decision favorable to the complainant would infringe the rights of artists to conduct studio experiments. An argument validated by Judge Virginia Phillips. However, the origin of the leak remained to be determined. Nicki Minaj seemed to want to put the hat on to Nas, also featured on the track, before finally offering a deal of 450,000 dollars (approximately 370,000 euros) to Tracy Chapman. The latter having accepted the proposal, no trial will take place. Tracy Chapman publicly applauded this conclusion:
“I am happy that this matter has been resolved and I am grateful for this legal outcome which asserts that artists' rights are protected by law and should be respected by other artists. In this situation, I have been asked many times for permission to use my song; each time, politely and on time, I said unequivocally no. Apparently, Mrs. Minaj chose not to hear and used my composition despite my clear and express intentions ” .
And to have added:
“As a freelance songwriter and publisher, I have been known to protect my work. I never authorized the use of my songs for 'samples' or requested a 'sample'. This lawsuit was a last resort – continued in an effort to defend myself and my work and to seek to protect the creative enterprise and expression of songwriters and independent publishers like me ” .