Nicki Minaj is still embroiled in the legal tussle with singer and songwriter Tracy Chapman, but her side can claim a small victory in the matter. The Queens rapper will not have to hand over private conversations between her and Funkmaster Flex to Chapman, who has accused Minaj of sampling her music without permission.
The Blast reports:
In her [Chapman] motion, she claimed to learn new information during Minaj’s recent deposition. The court documents read, “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 added, “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.”
The judge decided Minaj does not have to turn over the messages at this point. The order read, “The Court also finds that Plaintiff has not shown a substantial need for the draft declarations. If a party may access information from other sources, substantial need is not shown.”
Chapman says her song “Baby Can I Hold You” was sampled for the song “Sorry,” an unreleased track that was set to appear on the Queen album.