Nicki Minaj has been sued for copyright infringement over her 2014 song I Lied.
According to court documents obtained by TMZ, musician Julius Johnson filed a copyright complaint on Monday in California against the Starships rapper.
Johnson claimed in the suit that Minaj “directly copied” the beat from his 2011 song onmysleeve to create her track I Lied, which appeared on her 2014 album The Pinkprint.
He alleged that the beat was included on a hard drive that was taken from a studio session in 2013 when he attended the Art Institute of Atlanta, before “associates” or “affiliates” of Minaj who had access to the recording space allegedly got their hands on the hard drive.
The complaint claimed that both onmysleeve and I Lied “contain substantially identical underlying instrumentation and beat” and “utilize at least the same style instrument bed, rhythm, beats per minute, and song key”.
As well as Minaj, the filing named collaborators Mike Will Made It, Ester Dean and Skooly, and record label Universal Music Group as defendants. Johnson wants damages in the form of Minaj and Will’s earnings from the song, as well as a court order to stop them using it or to credit Johnson on it.
A source told TMZ that the rapper wasn’t involved in creating the song’s beat. They claimed, “Clearly Nicki is a lyricist, so the claim in terms of production will obviously have to be addressed by the applicable parties.”
After TMZ tweeted the story, Nicki reshared the article and added, “Do I make beats? You first on the list dummy.”