The Blast reports and Pitchfork confirms that Nicki Minaj has responded to Tracy Chapman’s copyright infringement lawsuit against her, demanding that the suit be thrown out and denying that she did anything wrong in recording the song that prompted it. Chapman sued Nicki in October last year after “Sorry,” a track originally recorded for Nicki’s album Queen but left off the final tracklist on its release, leaked online after being played on the radio — supposedly without Nicki’s permission. The song contains an interpolation of Chapman’s “Baby Let Me Hold You,” which the singer never cleared for use.
Nicki says in the court documents responding to the lawsuit that she tried multiple times to clear the sample with Chapman, but her requests were all denied. Nicki even insinuated online that she was willing to push the album back to allow more time to clear it, but wound up putting it out on its originally-projected release date, since it had already been delayed previously.
The response further argues that the interpolation of “Baby Let Me Hold You” constitutes fair use, as Nicki never put it out for profit and had no control over the leak itself. She also claims that Chapman “is not the owner of the copyright in issue and therefore lacks standing to bring the claims alleged in the Complaint,” according to the docs, despite also admitting that she recorded the song before ever reaching out.
The issue reached a fever pitch as many of Minaj’s fans lashed out at Chapman online, spamming fan pages as if they were her own with requests, insults, and threats, so hopefully cooler heads prevail now that Nicki’s response has been made public.