Nicki Minaj denies Tracy Chapman copyright allegations

February 28, 2019 GMT

Nicki Minaj has denied the allegations in a copyright lawsuit brought against her by Tracy Chapman in October.

Last October, Tracy sued 36-year-old Nicki for copyright infringement after claiming the rapper’s track ‘Sorry’ interpolated her 1988 single ‘Baby Can I Hold You’ without her permission.

And in new court documents obtained by The Blast, Nicki has now denied infringing on the copyright for the song, despite having previously announced that she was seeking permission from Tracy to use the sample.

The ‘Anaconda’ hitmaker claims in her documents that whilst “she recorded a musical interpolation that incorporated music and lyrics from the Composition,” the use of the sample is protected by the doctrine of fair use.

Nicki also claims Tracy “has not properly registered her claim to the copyright in the Composition,” adding that the 54-year-old singer “is not the owner of the copyright in issue and therefore lacks standing to bring the claims alleged in the Complaint.”

‘Sorry’ was meant to appear on Nicki’s fourth studio album ‘Queen’ - which was released in August last year - but remained unreleased until it was leaked to New York DJ Funkmaster Flex, and subsequently played on Hot 97 radio, leading Tracy to file the lawsuit seeking damages, as well as an order to prevent Nicki from releasing the song.

In her documents, Nicki admits she “several requests for permission” to license the song, all of which were denied.

The papers read: “Defendant admits that Sorry incorporates music and lyrics from the Composition. Defendant admits that she made a recording of Sorry without first seeking authorisation to do so.”

After Funkmaster Flex played a copy of the ‘Queen’ album Nicki originally intended to release - which included ‘Sorry’ - shortly before the release of the final product, the ‘Good Form’ hitmaker seemed to suggest on social media that Tracy had blocked her from using the sample.

In a now-deleted tweet, she simply wrote: “Sis said no”.