Tracy Chapman Has Reportedly Sued Nicki Minaj for Never Clearing That Sample

Minaj/Chapman. Photo: Getty Images

One of the many reasons Nicki Minaj blamed for the delay of Queen was her failure to find Tracy Chapman to clear a sample of one of her songs for a track on the new album. Ultimately, that song, “Sorry,” featuring Nas, leaked online the day after the album’s August release, premiered on Funkmaster Flex’s radio show, and was then put on YouTube. (“Sis said no,” Minaj tweeted and deleted about the sample after the song’s release.) TMZ now reports that Chapman is suing for copyright infringement because Nicki still never cleared the sample, which is an interpolation of Shelly Thunder’s “Sorry” which itself samples Chapman’s 1988 song “Baby Can I Hold You.” (Chapman argues that “Sorry” uses “half of the lyrics and vocal melody” of “Baby.”)

According to Chapman, Minaj’s team did successfully get in touch with her in June to make “multiple requests” to use the song, all of which Chapman declined. Chapman alleges in her suit that because Flex was permitted by Minaj’s team to play the song, it was then widely spread without Chapman’s consent. She’s now reportedly suing for damages and wants to prohibit Minaj from further releasing the song.

Tracy Chapman Sues Nicki Minaj for Never Clearing Sample