Flame (rapper)

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Red Carpet Premiere, Hollywood
Red Carpet Premiere, Hollywood
Background information
Birth nameMarcus Tyrone Gray
Born (1981-09-16) September 16, 1981 (age 41)
OriginSt. Louis, Missouri U.S.
GenresChristian hip hop
Occupation(s)Rapper, actor, music executive
Years active2003–present
LabelsClear Sight Music

Marcus Tyrone Gray (born September 16, 1981), known as Flame (often stylized in all caps), is an American Lutheran Christian hip hop rapper with Clear Sight Music. He has released nine albums. Flame has been nominated for several Dove and Stellar Awards. The Our World: Redeemed album was nominated for a Grammy Award.[citation needed]


As of 2005, Flame sold over 35,000 albums, and one of his interludes from his first album was played on Busch Stadium's loudspeakers every time Albert Pujols came to bat.[1]

On February 20, 2007, it was announced that Flame's track, "Gotta Notice", from the album Rewind was nominated for the 38th Annual GMA Dove Awards in the category Rap/Hip Hop Recorded Song of the Year.[2] In mid-2007, Flame joined the rest of Cross Movement for their final tour.[3] Our World Redeemed was nominated for a Stellar Award, Dove Award, and Grammy Award. In 2009, Flame was a special guest on Reach Records 116 Clique's tour Don't Waste Your Life.[4]

In 2010, Flame announced a new album titled Captured.[5][6]

In 2014 Flame, along with three other musicians, filed a lawsuit against Katy Perry for alleged copyright infringement. In the suit, Perry was accused of stealing production elements from Flame's gospel track "Joyful Noise", in her song "Dark Horse". Flame and the other plaintiffs involved in the suit claimed that, not only did Perry use appropriate elements of the song, but that the video tarnished their production by using imagery associated with black magic and witchcraft, ideologies that Flame strongly opposes. It was originally reported that the matter had been settled out of court; however, as of late 2018, the case was set to go to trial.[7][8][9] On July 29, 2019, a jury sided with Flame, leaving Perry to pay $550,000 and her label to pay the remaining $2.78 million.[10][11] On March 17, 2020, Judge Christina A. Snyder overturned the jury award, citing numerous factors, including that the musical theme was both simple and common, and that the evidence given did not support the jury's award. Snyder vacated the jury's verdict and denied motions for a new trial, but stated that, should the case be heard on appeal at the Ninth Circuit, a new jury trial would be required.[12][13][14] Flame filed a notice of appeal at the Ninth Circuit on April 13, 2020.[15] In March 2022, the Ninth Circuit ruled in Perry's favor, upholding the vacation ruling from the District Court. The courts found the ostinatos in question unrelated, failed to meet the threshold of originality required for protection, and granted JMOL to defendants.[16]

In March 2020, Flame left the Reformed tradition and was received into the Lutheran Church.[17][unreliable source?] His EP Christ for You focuses on the Lutheran belief in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, citing the Church Fathers such as Justin Martyr, Augustine of Hippo, Irenaeus, Cyril and Thomas Aquinas (cf. Eucharist in Lutheranism).[17] Reflecting on his Lutheran Christian faith, Flame rejoiced: "It wasn't until I stumbled upon Lutheran thought that I discovered the treasure found in the liturgical and sacramental side of things."[17] He praised the Lutheran tradition for its "ancient truths that will comfort contemporary consciences" and said that those "Truths that will bring people out of their heads and lift their heads from navel-gazing onto the sweet means of grace that God has provided outside of us."[17] Flame named his album Christ for You as he wants his fans "to experience the joy and freedom that I’ve found in the sacraments." (cf. Lutheran sacraments)[17]


Marcus Gray earned his Master of Arts degree from Concordia Seminary in Systematic Theology, with minors in Church History, as well as Counseling.[18]


Studio albums[edit]

Year Album
2004 Flame
  • First studio album
  • Sold over 98,000[citation needed]
  • Released: October 12, 2004
2005 Rewind
  • Second studio album
  • Sold over 74,000[citation needed]
  • GMA Dove Award Nominee for Best Rap/Hip Hop Recorded Song of the Year for "Gotta Notice"
  • Released: December 6, 2005
2007 Our World: Fallen
  • Third studio album
  • Released: April 17, 2007
  • First album in a two-album series.
  • "The album is a passionate, but basic, explanation of God's pursuit for His created people," Flame says. "It's very simple, but it's a very informative appeal for people to run to Christ."[19]
2008 Our World: Redeemed
  • Released: March 4, 2008
  • Fourth studio album
  • Second album in a two-album series
  • Stellar Award Nominee for Rap Album of the Year
  • GMA Dove Award Nominee for Best Rap/Hip Hop Recorded Song of the Year for "Joyful Noise"
  • Nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album.
  • The last of Flame's albums released with Cross Movement Records.
2010 Captured
  • Fifth studio album
  • Released: December 28, 2010
  • Stellar Award Nominee for Rap Album of the Year
  • GMA Dove Award Nominee for Best Rap/Hip Hop Album of the Year and Best Urban Recorded Song for "All I Need"
  • No. 1 on Billboard Gospel (January 2011)
  • No. 5 on Billboard Christian (January 2011)
  • No. 17 on Billboard Rap (January 2011)
  • No. 152 on Billboard 200 (January 2011)
  • No. 11 on Billboard Independent (January 2011)[citation needed]
2012 The 6th[20]
  • Sixth studio album
  • Release Date: March 6, 2012
  • Stellar Award Nominee for Rap Album of the Year
  • No. 1 on Billboard Gospel
  • No. 2 on Billboard Christian
  • No. 8 on Billboard Rap
  • No. 67 on Billboard Top 200
  • No. 8 on Billboard Independent
  • No. 1 on iTunes Rap (March 2012)
  • No. 8 on iTunes Top Albums (March 2012)
2013 Royal Flush
  • Seventh studio album
  • Release Date: October 1, 2013
  • Dove Award Nomination for Rap Album of the Year
2015 Forward
  • Eighth studio album
  • Release Date: July 17, 2015
  • Stellar Award Nomination for Rap Album of the Year
  • Dove Award Nomination for Rap Album of the Year
2018 God Knows
  • Ninth studio album
  • Release Date: March 2, 2018
  • Stellar Award Rap Album Of The Year[21][22]
2020 Extra Nos
  • Tenth studio project
  • First EP project
  • First project as a Lutheran[23]
  • Release Date: January 24, 2020
2021 Christ for You
  • Eleventh studio project
  • Conceptually focused on the Lutheran Doctrine of the Lord's Supper
  • Release Date: January 29, 2021[24]
2022 Word And Water
  • Twelfth studio project
  • Release Date: April 29, 2022


  1. ^ Westhoff, Ben (September 14, 2005). "St. Louis - News - Rap vs. Rapture". Riverfronttimes.com. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved September 9, 2007.
  2. ^ "38th Annual GMA Dove Awards - Recipients". Archived from the original on April 4, 2007.
  3. ^ "HIStory Summer Tour Details - Cross Movement Records (CMR) .:: A Trusted Name In Christian Hip-Hop". Cross Movement Records. April 11, 1997. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
  4. ^ {{cite web |website=Rapzilla |url=http://www.rapzilla.com/rz/content/view/1330/103 |title=Don't Waste Your Life Tour Commercial + Dates] Archived March 2, 2009, at rapzilla.com (Error: unknown archive URL)
  5. ^ "FLAME to drop 'Captured' December 28th (cover revealed)". Rapzilla. November 4, 2010. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
  6. ^ "Flame Talks New Label & New Album Details". Rapzilla. August 11, 2010. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
  7. ^ "Update on Flame Lawsuit Against Katy Perry Over 'Dark Horse'". Rapzilla. August 30, 2018. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
  8. ^ "FLAME & Lecrae Sue Katy Perry Over Dark Horse". Rapzilla. July 2, 2014. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  9. ^ Macias, Jr Martin (August 14, 2018). "Katy Perry Copyright Suit Heading to Trial". Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  10. ^ "Katy Perry's hit Dark Horse copied a Christian rap song, jury finds". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Associated Press. July 29, 2019. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  11. ^ "Katy Perry among those ordered to pay a total of $2.78M in song copying lawsuit". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Associated Press. August 1, 2019. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
  12. ^ Maddaus, Gene (March 17, 2020). "Katy Perry Wins Reversal of 'Dark Horse' Copyright Verdict". Variety. Retrieved March 17, 2020.
  13. ^ "Katy Perry and Capitol Records win appeal in 'Dark Horse' copyright case". Music Biz Nation.
  14. ^ Gray v. Perry, No. 2:15-cv-05642, 2020 WL 1275221 (C.D. Cal. March 16, 2020).
  15. ^ "Katy Perry Copyright Accuser Takes Case To 9th Circ. - Law360". www.law360.com. Archived from the original on September 30, 2020. Retrieved June 20, 2020.
  16. ^ Gray v. Hudson; United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (10 March 2022). No: 20-55401; D.C. No: 2:15-cv-05642CAS-JC. uscourts.gov. retrieved 13 March 2022. PDF
  17. ^ a b c d e Becklo, Matthew (February 4, 2021). ""Christ for You": Flame Unpacks His New EP on the Lutheran Belief in the Real Presence". Word on Fire. Retrieved February 18, 2021.
  18. ^ Veith, Gene (February 3, 2020). "The Rapper Flame Becomes a Lutheran". Cranach. Retrieved February 18, 2021.
  19. ^ "Flame: Man On Fire". CCMmagazine.com. Archived from the original on October 7, 2008. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
  20. ^ "Flame Releases New Album March 6th". Archived from the original on July 15, 2012. Retrieved January 18, 2012.
  21. ^ "The Stellar Award Winners Are..... | Sherry Mackey | 100.3 Hallelujah FM". Sherry Mackey. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  22. ^ "Watch Flame new music video Silver & Gold ft. Melinda Watts on Rapzilla.com". Rapzilla. April 2, 2019. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  23. ^ "The Rapper Flame Becomes a Lutheran". Cranach. February 3, 2020. Retrieved March 9, 2020.
  24. ^ Flame, "Christ for You" on Apple Music (2021) https://music.apple.com/us/album/christ-for-you-ep/1549189328

External links[edit]