“Joyful Noise” (watch / listen)
“Dark Horse” (watch / listen)
Katy Perry and Juicy J though an extremely unlikely pair had one of the biggest hits at the end of 2013 that carried on into the beginning of this year with their eccentric collaboration “Dark Horse.” The song dominated radio, music charts, and digital retailers for weeks. The video has almost 500 million views to date despite the fact that it’s unique bright colorful imagery sparked a bit of controversy. The single is being hailed as Perry’s biggest hit in her career. But does it legitimately belong to her? According to Christian rappers Lecrae (Reach Records) and Flame, the answer is no. The duo have filed a lawsuit against the pop diva alleging that she stole parts of the track. They claim the singer ripped off their 2008 selection “Joyful Noise.” Additionally, they cite that her secular connotations and so called blasphemous themes (witchcraft, paganism, black magic, and Illuminati symbolism) of the “Dark Horse” video taints the religious message of their work.
The similarities in the two numbers is said to be most evident in the intros. When “Dark Horse” was initially released, Flame’s fans hopped on Twitter to alert the artist of the supposed copyright infringement. Flame saw his fair share of success with “Joyful Noise.” It was nominated for a Grammy as well as a Dove Award. So it was a pretty well known record. The suit was filed in a federal court in St. Louis, Missouri. Artists Chike Ojukwu and Emanuel Lambert are listed as plaintiffs too. Dr. Luke, Capitol Records, and a few others are listed as defendants along with Perry and Juicy J. Ironically enough, Perry’s parents are ministers and she was a Christian artist when she first broke into the music business. She retained her religious beliefs for bit after going mainstream but has since denounced her faith. At the time of press, there was no mention of what type of compensation the Christian artists are seeking from Perry and the others. Those interested in comparing the two efforts may listen to them via the links provided at the beginning of this post.
**My Two Cents: This is pretty interesting. I listened to both cuts myself and I don’t hear enough of a commonality for a lawsuit. But to each his own. Lecrae doesn’t strike me as the petty type like most plaintiffs in these copyright cases do. But I don’t see Katy Perry being the thieving type either. So who knows what the real deal is here. I am curious to see how this all plays out. -MinM