Nicki Minaj is facing a lawsuit over her song “Starships,” which musician Clive Tanaka alleges is a rip off of his eleco-pop song “Neu Chicago.”

The lawsuit, filed at the U.S. District Court in Chicago on Tuesday, claims that Minaj, Starships producer RedOne and three of the song’s writers committed copyright infringement, reported the Chicago Tribune.

Tanaka insists that the similarities between the two songs are nearly indistinguishable. He created and posted a mash-up of “Starships” and “Neu Chicago” on SoundCloud in an attempt to drive home the point.


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Tanaka is known to be a relatively reclusive artist, who rarely makes public appearances. His music, however, has apparently been heard on the radio all over the U.S. and Europe, giving Minaj and the rest of the individuals who worked on the song a chance of coming across it.

"[The defendants] had a very good opportunity to hear 'Neu Chicago'," Tanaka's lawyer, Christopher Niro, told WENN. "We believe [the songs] are similar to the point that it is nearly impossible for it to be a coincidence."

Minaj’s “Starships,” through criticized for its departure from her harder rap roots, has been her most successful single to date. It debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 in the top 10, where it stayed for 21 weeks. It peaked at No. 5 on the charts and was certified triple platinum in U.S. sales.

– Chelsea Regan

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  • ReynaBoucaud
    ReynaBoucaud on

    SMH at Nicki

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