Chapman’s lawsuit was over Nicki’s 2018 track “Sorry”.
Nicki Minaj and Tracy Chapman have been involved in a lengthy copyright dispute since 2018, one that is finally coming to an end with a nearly half-million-dollar settlement from Nicki Minaj. Nicki’s leaked track “Sorry” featured a sample from Chapman’s 1988 song “Baby Can I Hold You” which Chapman did not clear with Minaj. The song was originally leaked by Funkmaster Flex in the summer of 2018 but was later removed from his website.
Nicki has issued hypocritical statements in the past when it comes to the sample, as she first publicly asked Chapman to clear the sample on Twitter in July 2018. She asked fans to vote on whether she should keep the record and push back the album release for Chapman to clear the sample, or if she should just lose the record and keep the original album release date. Results were pretty mixed. Nicki later denied in February 2019 that “Sorry” infringed on any copyright of Chapman’s.
In September 2020, a small victory was given to Nicki Minaj when Judge Virginia A. Phillips sided with her, saying that “Sorry” was protected under fair use. It wasn’t until this past week when Chapman and her team finally decided to accept an offer from Nicki Minaj that allowed the legal proceedings to finally be put to rest. The sum of $450,000 to be paid by Nicki Minaj includes all of the additional costs and attorney fees.