Nicki Minaj is being trashed by singer Tracy Chapman for allegedly dragging her feet in court and refusing to turn over private text messages.
According to court documents obtained by The Blast, Chapman is asking a judge for extensions in the case she brought against Minaj. She sued Minaj (real name: Onika Maraj) accusing her of sampling her music without permission.
In her newly filed motion, Chapman wants all deadlines postponed and the trial date pushed back to June 23, 2020.
She claims to need more time due to Minaj’s “improper” conduct in the case. She claims “Maraj has repeatedly and systematically delayed and/or thwarted the discovery process.”
Chapman says she demanded Minaj turn over documents and communications related to the allegations in the lawsuit. She says Minaj originally only turned over 37 pages of discovery. She says during Minaj’s deposition she learned the rapper failed to turn over key documents.
The full scope of the inadequacy of Maraj’s document production was not apparent until her deposition on September 23, 2019, when she testified that she had not produced certain vital (and requested) correspondence and documents.”
Chapman says, “Maraj’s deposition testimony made clear that she failed to produce many requested documents, including, but not limited to, (i) discoverable and responsive documents and correspondence maintained by her former manager, Gerald “Gee” Roberson (“Roberson”); and (ii) text messages with and a draft declaration sent to third-party Aston George Taylor, Jr. p/k/a Funkmaster Flex (“Taylor”).”
She continues, “This is especially troubling and problematic given that Maraj’s correspondence with Taylor is crucial to determining whether Maraj violated Chapman’s copyright by distributing the Infringing Work to Taylor – a key element that goes directly to Chapman’s infringement claim, and the willfulness of Maraj’s wrongdoing.”
Chapman is demanding the judge postpone the trial date and order Minaj to turn over the texts immediately.
Last year, singer Tracy Chapman sued Minaj accusing her of copyright infringement. She accused Minaj of sampling her song "Baby Can I Hold You" on a track with Nas titled "Sorry."
Chapman accused her of not getting permission to sample her work nor was she paid.
Minaj denied all allegations of wrongdoing and demanded the case be dismissed. The rapper Minaj admitted her team made several requests to Chapman to use her music and says those requests were denied. She also says she did record the song before getting permission.
In the court docs, Minaj says she did want to put "Sorry" on her album "Queen" but left it off due to not having clearance.
The song was eventually leaked to Funkmaster Flex, who posted it on social media, and then it went viral soon after. Minaj argues the use of Chapman’s sample in her song was fair use and even says Chapman doesn’t own the copyright to the sampled track. Minaj has asked for the entire lawsuit to be thrown out.
Recently, the two were unable to reach a settlement during mediation. The court docs note on October 2 the parties tried to privately hash out their issues. However, “the mediation was unsuccessful, and no settlement was reached. Settlement in not imminent.”
Minaj is also involved in a nasty court battle with her ex-stylist.