Which Song Did Nicki Minaj Copy From Tracy Chapman?

Welcome to this in-depth article where we will explore the question: “Which song did Nicki Minaj copy from Tracy Chapman?”

Before we dive into the specifics, let’s take a moment to appreciate the talent and influence of both Nicki Minaj and Tracy Chapman. Both artists have made significant contributions to the music industry in their respective genres, and it is intriguing to explore how their paths may have intersected.

Tracy Chapman: A Musical Icon

Tracy Chapman is an American singer-songwriter known for her soulful voice, heartfelt lyrics, and acoustic guitar skills. She rose to prominence in the late 1980s with her self-titled debut album, which included the iconic hit “Fast Car.”

Nicki Minaj: A Hip-Hop Sensation

Nicki Minaj is a Trinidadian-born rapper, singer, and songwriter who skyrocketed to fame in the late 2000s. Known for her unique flow, bold fashion choices, and unapologetic attitude, she has become one of the most successful female hip-hop artists of all time.

The Controversy

In August 2018, Nicki Minaj released her highly anticipated album “Queen,” which featured a track called “Sorry.” This song sampled Tracy Chapman’s iconic hit “Baby Can I Hold You” from her self-titled debut album.

This sparked controversy as Tracy Chapman had reportedly denied Nicki Minaj’s request to use the sample prior to the release of “Queen.” The situation escalated further when it was discovered that despite not receiving permission, Nicki Minaj still released “Sorry” on her album.

The Lawsuit

Following the release of “Sorry,” Tracy Chapman filed a lawsuit against Nicki Minaj for copyright infringement. The lawsuit claimed that Nicki Minaj had willfully infringed on Chapman’s rights by using the sample without permission.


In January 2021, it was reported that Nicki Minaj and Tracy Chapman reached a settlement in the lawsuit. The terms of the settlement were not made public, but it was revealed that Nicki Minaj agreed to pay Tracy Chapman a substantial amount as compensation.

Lessons Learned

This controversy surrounding the unauthorized use of Tracy Chapman’s song serves as a reminder of the importance of respecting artists’ rights and obtaining proper permissions when sampling or covering their work. It also highlights the legal consequences that can arise from copyright infringement.

  • Lesson 1: Always seek permission: Artists should always seek permission before using someone else’s work, whether it be sampling, covering, or any other form of adaptation.
  • Lesson 2: Copyright infringement consequences: Copyright infringement can lead to legal action and significant financial penalties. It is essential to understand and respect intellectual property rights.

The Impact

This incident has sparked discussions about artistic integrity, fair use, and the role of sampling in contemporary music. It serves as a reminder for both artists and fans to appreciate and acknowledge the origins of creative works.

In conclusion, while “Sorry” by Nicki Minaj did sample Tracy Chapman’s “Baby Can I Hold You,” it was done without permission and resulted in a legal battle between the two artists. This incident sheds light on important lessons regarding copyright infringement and respecting artistic boundaries.

We hope this article has provided you with valuable insights into this controversial topic!