The producers of Nicki Minaj's "Starships" single may have sampled Clive Tanaka's "Neu Chicago" without clearance.
As reported by the Chicago Tribune, electronic musician Clive Tanaka has filed a lawsuit against Nicki Minaj for copyright infringement relating to her massive 2012 single "Starships". The elusive Chicago artist claims Minaj's single, produced by RedOne, Carl Falk, Wayne Hector and Rami Yacoub, borrowed heavily from his 2011 song "Neu Chicago" without his permission. "Starships" set a Billboard record after remaining in the Top 10 for 21 consecutive weeks last year.
Tanaka maintains that his track had already been heard hundreds of thousands of times before "Starships" was even conceived, and that the similarities between the two tracks are undeniable. To strengthen the argument, he posted a clip on SoundCloud last year titled "Neu Starships" that synchronized the two songs, with the listener hearing "Starships" in one ear and "Neu Chicago" in the other.
Although Tanaka has yet to comment, his lawyer (Christopher Niro) has stated that the tracks are "similar to the point that it is nearly impossible for it to be a coincidence." RedOne, Falk, Hector and Yacoub, who are named in the lawsuit along with Minaj, are all citizens of Sweden, where "Neu Chicago" was used in television ads for a beverage company and a clothing retailer. "They had a very good opportunity to hear it," Niro said.
That's pretty much it, folks. Minaj's camp as yet to respond.
You can listen to both tracks below, as well as the "Neu Starships" mash-up.