Rap star Nicki Minaj has been sued by singer songwriter Tracy Chapman, the former having been accused of lifting lyrics and the melody from the latter’s 1988 hit Baby Can I Hold You.
Minaj allegedly sought permission several months back to sample the song for use in her track Sorry, which was initially set to appear on Minaj’s album Queen.
Chapman, who rarely allows her music to be sampled, refused the request.
While Minaj decided to not include the track on the album, she did provide it to two New York City radio stations, who played it on air in August, with portions of it even appearing in radio promos.
The song is also now available online (eg: YouTube), hence Chapman has good reason to sue Minaj. Indeed, The Nicki Minaj song uses practically all of the lyrics of Baby Can I Hold You as a chorus.
Chapman is seeking injunctive relief (ie: a court order for Minaj to stop making the song available to the public, which is probably too late) plus damages.