FLAME & Lecrae Sue Katy Perry Over Dark Horse

UPDATE: Rapzilla reached out to FLAME and Katy Perry but both declined to comment.
UPDATE 2: Check out FLAME’s DJ response with song comparison here.

This morning STLtoday.com reported, Christian hip-hop musicians from St. Louis and elsewhere sued pop singer Katy Perry, Capitol Records and others in federal court here Tuesday, claiming that Perry’s song “Dark Horse” ripped off their 2008 song. The suit says that Perry and her co-writers infringed the copyright of the Christian song “Joyful Noise” and have exploited and profited from its use.

It also says that “Joyful Noise” has been “irreparably tarnished by its association with the witchcraft, paganism, black magic, and Illuminati imagery evoked by the same music in ‘Dark Horse’.”

“Joyful Noise” was written in 2007 and released in 2008. The song received a 2008 Gospel Music Association Dove Award nomination for the best rap/hip-hop song, the suit says.

According to CourtHouseNews.com, The plaintiffs claim that Perry has performed “Dark Horse” in front of sold-out concerts throughout the country, that millions of copies have been sold and downloaded and that 435 million people have watched the “Dark Horse” video on YouTube.

Joyful Noise was created in 2007 and appeared on Flame’s album “Our World: Redeemed,” which was released in 2008. The album received a Grammy nomination for Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album and “Joyful Noise” received a 2008 Gospel Music Association Dove Award nomination for the Best Rap/Hip Hop Recorded Song of the Year. “Joyful Noise” featured Lecrae. “Dark Horse” was released in September 2013. It reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts in January and stayed in the top spot for weeks.

“Defendants never sought or obtained permission from plaintiffs to use the ‘Joyful Noise’ song in creating, reproducing, recording, distributing, selling, or publicly performing defendants’ song,” the complaint states. “Plaintiffs never gave any of the defendants permission, consent, or a license to use ‘Joyful Noise’ for any purpose, including creation of a derivative work based on ‘Joyful Noise.'”

Compare the songs for yourself, but be warned that Katy Perry’s lyrics may contain undesirable language.

UPDATE: The lawsuit was first reported as settled, this was an error which STLToday fixed.

Chad Horton

Written by Chad Horton

Chad Horton has been in the music business since 2000 with a focus on digital distribution, streaming, playlisting, and social media marketing. Chad is currently a Partnership Producer at hi5.agency working with clients such as Blizzard Entertainment, Google Pixel, and more. Chad also owns and operates Rapzilla.com. Originally from Northern California, Chad became a San Diego resident in 2004 where he currently resides with his wife and children.

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