Pretty much all of hip hop is based on sampling or stealing. Now Nicki Minaj has learned a lesson the hard way.
Minaj, who couldn’t write a lullaby, stole Tracy Chapman’s great song, “Baby Can I Hold You Tonight.” Minaj re appropriated it for something she called “Sorry.” Now she’s REALLY sorry.
Nicki has to pony up $450,000 to Chapman in a settlement. It’s too funny. Chapman is on an infamous no-sample list, but Minaj’s people tried to clear the sample anyway. When they were rejected they left the song off of Minaj’s “Queen” album. But “Sorry” was recorded, and it made it out onto lots of platforms including YouTube.
Chapman says in a statement: “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. 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.”
Chapman adds: “This lawsuit was a last report — pursued in an effort to defend myself and my work and to seek protection for the creative enterprise and expression of songwriters and independent publishers like myself.”