Nicki Minaj wants jury trial to examine Tracy Chapman song lawsuit

Nicki Minaj is pushing for a jury trial to determine the outcome of the copyright infringement lawsuit filed against her by singer Tracy Chapman.

The rapper was hit with the court action in October 2018, after New York DJ Funkmaster Flex obtained a copy of the song Sorry, which featured Minaj’s ex, hip-hop legend Nas, and contained a sample of Chapman’s 1988 track Baby Can I Hold You.

Minaj had previously insisted she did nothing wrong, arguing the sample falls under the fair use category of copyright law and requested the case be dismissed.

However, she has since decided to seek a jury trial to clear her name.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, in her latest legal filing, Minaj admits she had initially planned to leak the track to Funkmaster Flex, teasing the exclusive in a direct message via Instagram.

Sorry debuted on air a week later, and subsequently made its way to the Internet – prompting Chapman’s ire, but Minaj claims it didn’t come from her.

“At the time I sent these messages, I intended to send Flex a copy of Sorry to play on his radio program,” she testified.

“That day, however, I had a change of heart. I never sent the recording,” she told the court.

Flex also testified that he had obtained Sorry from one of his ‘bloggers’, not from the star or her recording engineer, who had been in the studio with the rappers at the time, and when Minaj heard the news, she warned him: “You can only play official album material sir.”

As a result, Minaj’s attorney Peter Ross argued the evidence: “in many instances directly contradicts Chapman’s story”, which “leaves open many possibilities as to ‘who done it (sic)?'”

August 26, 2020
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