Did Katy Perry Steal 'Dark Horse' From Christian Singers?

Christian rappers Flame and Lecrae are suing Katy Perry over her hit song "Dark Horse" which they claim plagiarizes their 2008 song "Joyful Noise".
Posted at 12:52 PM, Jul 04, 2014

The lyrics to Katy Perry's hit song "Dark Horse" specifically tells the listener to not make her their enemy. But Christian rappers Flame and Lecrae are going to do just that. 

Why are the rappers going after Perry? Well, Flame, Lecrae and their producers are accusing Perry of plagiarizing their 2008 gospel song "Joyful Noise" in "Dark Horse".

Source: Capitol Records / Katy PerryCross Movement Records / Flame

The lawsuit was filed in St. Louis, where Flame, who's real name is Marcus Gray, resides. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the Christian artists claim Perry "ripped off" their song and has exploited and profited from its use.

Christian Hip-Hop website Rapzilla reports Gray was made aware of the similarity by his DJ, Cho'zyn Boy, who told the site "What listeners are hearing is Katy Perry’s 'Dark Horse' at 66 beats per minute and they’re hearing Flame's "Joyful Noise” at 76 beats per minute. When they're separated, they seem a bit different, but when you bring them to the same tempo and you just change her pitch down one octave, they're identical."

Cho'zyn Boy created a comparison on SoundCloud, slowing down Dark Horse, lowering its pitch and then mixing the songs together.


As Gawker points out, the melodies aren't exactly the same. Perry subtracts a note in addition to being slower and "the melody is simple enough that two people could have easily stumbled upon it coincidentally — that's what makes it so catchy — and the rest of "Dark Horse" adds ideas that are nowhere to be found in "Joyful Noise."

And to add alleged insult to injury, Courthouse News Service reports the claim states "by any measure, the devoutly religious message of '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.'"

Music lawsuits aren't all that uncommon - Joe Satriani sued Coldplay over their song "Viva La Vida", family of the band Spirit are suing Led Zeppelin over "Stairway to Heaven" and Phoenix Phenom is currently suing the Black Eyed Peas over "Boom Boom Pow".

And Perry's "Dark Horse" is no stranger to controversy. In February an online petition successfully got a pendant bearing the word "Allah" on it removed from the song's music video.