A song released well over three years ago by Chicago artist Clive Tanaka is now the center of a copyright infringement lawsuit aimed at Young Money rapstress Nicki Minaj. According to the Chicago Tribune, Tanaka believes Nicki Minaj borrowed components of his record “Neu Chicago” on her 2012 chart-topper, “Starships.”
In his lawsuit, which was filed earlier this week in a U.S. District Court in Chicago, the “Neu Chicago” creator also named various “Starships” collaborators including producer/songwriter Nadir “RedOne” Khayat, Carl Falk, Wayne Hector, and Rami Yacoub.
The similarity between both songs is arguable, but according to Tanaka’s lawyer, Christopher Niro, there’s one piece of information that could be vital in the Windy City artist’s lawsuit. Tanaka believes RedOne and other “Starships” writers could have been living in Sweden when his record, “Neu Chicago,” was featured in several advertising campaigns in the country.
“They had a very good opportunity to hear it…We believe they are similar to the point that it is nearly impossible for it to be a coincidence,” Niro revealed to the Chicago Tribune.
Neither Nicki Minaj nor a rep for the rapper has responded publicly to Tanaka’s lawsuit.
Although Nicki Minaj was sued by an exotic car rental company in 2010, the copyright infringement lawsuit filed this week by Tanaka serves as a rarity for the Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded mastermind. On the contrary, Cash Money Records and its artist have been hit with numerous lawsuits over the past few years.
Most notoriously, Lil Wayne settled a $20 million lawsuit with “Lollipop” producer Deezle last year over unpaid work for Tha Carter III. Additionally, Drake also found himself at the center of a costly lawsuit when a woman claiming to be the singer/rapper’s girlfriend sued over the use of her vocal’s on “Marvin’s Room.”