Underground v Mainstream as Clive Tanaka Takes on Nicki Minaj Over 'Starships'
Tanaka claims Starships is a blatant rip-off
'Starships' may have broken Billboard records for Nicki Minaj, propelling her into the world of ‘hip-pop’ in a seamless yet at the same time jerky movement, but it won’t go by without complications, as the enigmatic electronic artist Clive Tanaka claims the female rapper copied his song, and is taking her to court.
Did Nicki Minaj's Producers Steal 'Starships'?
In a lawsuit filed under the name of his company - Tanaka Light Industries USA – Tanaka claims that Minaj copied 'Neu Chicago', his biggest selling hit, in order to create Starships, arguably her most successful song.
The suit names RedOne – the producer behind the track, as well as co-writers Carl Falk, Wayne Hector, and Rami Yacoub.
Christopher Niro, Tanaka’s lawyer has stated that the tracks are "similar to the point that it is nearly impossible for it to be a coincidence." What’s more, many of the people named in the suit are citizens of Sweden, where the track – Tanaka’s track – was used to promote a clothing company. “They had a very good opportunity to hear it," Niro said.
Matthew Sag, a Loyola University Chicago law professor specializing in copyright infringement, said: "You want to reward creativity, but you don't want to accidentally punish people for using what are the building blocks of an entire style of music. No one owns a genre."
Tanaka is a popular underground artist. He maintains an aura of anonymity about him, with even his most ardent fans unaware of his lineage, age, and place of birth or current residence. They certainly don’t know what he looks like.
Nicki Minaj will have to defend her song 'Starships'