Nicki Minaj has agreed to pay $450,000 to Tracy Chapman over a copyright infringement dispute.
The rapper had been set for trial after the singer sued her for using a sample of 1988 song Baby Can I Hold You in her track Sorry, a collaboration with Nas which was never officially released but was played on New York radio station Hot 97. Court documents have now revealed that late last month, an out of court settlement was made instead.
Minaj and her reps had approached Chapman to use a sample for inclusion on the album Queen but their request was rejected. Chapman is reportedly on a “do not sample” list of artists who do not give the rights to use their work.
“I’m torn, y’all help,” Minaj tweeted in 2018. “Tracy Chapman, can you please hit me. omg for the love of #Queen.” In a since-deleted tweet, she also claimed to have “no clue” that the song sampled Chapman. She had also openly considered delaying the album to wait for a response.
“I am glad to have this matter resolved and grateful for this legal outcome which affirms that artists’ rights are protected by law and should be respected by other artists,” Chapman said in a statement. “I was asked in this situation numerous times for permission to use my song; in each instance, politely and in a timely manner, I unequivocally said no. Apparently Ms Minaj chose not to hear and used my composition despite my clear and express intentions.”
Minaj has yet to make a comment.