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Rapper Nicki Minaj agrees to pay singer Tracy Chapman $450K to settle copyright infringement dispute

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Posted at 5:04 PM, Jan 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-08 18:04:37-05

Rapper Nicki Minaj has agreed to pay singer Tracy Chapman $450,000 to settle a copyright infringement dispute for sampling Chapman's 1988 song "Baby Can I Hold You" on an unreleased track, which ironically was called "Sorry."

According to The New York Times, Minaj recorded the song in collaboration with rapper Nas, but Minaj left the song off her 2018 album "Queen" after Chapman denied Minaj's request to sample her 1988 song.

However, the song was leaked online and on the radio by DJ Funkmaster Flex. According to Variety, DJ Funkmaster Flex said Minaj was the one who gave him the sample to put out onto the airwaves.

According to The Times, Judge Virginia A. Phillips, of United States District Court in Los Angeles, ruled that Minaj had fair use to experiment with the song in the studio. Still, when it leaked, Chapman deserved compensation.

Variety reported that both sides agreed that $450,000 was a reasonable amount.