Hip Hop, News

Nicki Minaj, Funkmaster Flex Scores Legal Victory In Tracy Chapman’s Lawsuit

Nicki Minaj just scored a small victory in her ongoing legal battle with Tracy Chapman.

Self-proclaimed Queen of Rap Nicki Minaj has been in an ongoing legal battle since the release of her latest album Queen in 2018. The album was rolled out with a special song featuring Nas missing from its tracklist, and that’s because Nicki never got the sample cleared. The track titled “Sorry” incorporated a sample from Tracy Chapman’s 1998 single “Baby Can I Hold You.” Although it never made the album, Nicki Minaj did have it played while visiting Funkmaster Flex at Hot 97 while promoting the project. Since Chapman never gave Nicki permission to use her sample, she and Flex were named in a copyright infringement suit. Things weren’t looking too good for neither the MC nor the host, but a judge just ruled in favor of Nicki Minaj on a key component to the case.

Earlier this month, Urban Islandz reported that Tracy Chapman filed a motion to have Nicki Minaj turn over text messages between her and Funkmaster Flex, to prove whether or not she gave him permission to play the uncleared record over the airwaves. On Friday, The Blast reported that a judge denied that motion, and Nicki would not have to send in text messages as evidence against her.

Chapman’s motion said the messages were “crucial to determining whether [Onika] Maraj violated Chapman’s copyright by distributing the Infringing Work to [Flex] Taylor – a key element that goes directly to Chapman’s infringement claim, and the willfulness of Maraj’s wrongdoing.”

But a judge ruled that Chapman did not prove a substantial need to have Nicki produce those messages or reveal the conversation she had with Flex about playing the record. The Blast said there were several other documents that Nicki was ordered to turn over, however, and Chapman has the right to refile her motion. This was just a small ruling in Nicki’s favor, but this case is far from over. It is set to go to trial in February 2020, if a settlement is not reached before then. Urban Islandz will continue to keep you updated as more details emerge.

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