15 Songs, 51 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Matching street credibility with natural flow and sharp pop instincts, Flame goes from strength to strength on his seventh album, Royal Flush. Flame’s lyrics stress personal redemption while maintaining a playful tone that makes the Word go down easy. This time out, he enlists an impressive lineup of guest stars as he runs through a consistently uplifting set. The opening track (“Break the Building,” a fiery declaration of faith) and the closing number (“Start Over,” a pop-influenced tune featuring NF's urgent vocals) bookend the album with a compassionate message that reaches out to nonbelievers. In between are club-beat sermons (“Sanctuary”), fervent electronica anthems (“Game Over”), Jamaican-slanted testimonies (“Baited”), and tormented prayers over hypnotic grooves (“Maranatha”). Especially incisive is “Stackin’,” a biting commentary on greed and spiritual blindness. Flame is helped immensely by such notables as singer V. Rose (who adds a yearning edge to “Read Em & Weep”) and rappers K-Drama and D-Maub (laying down rapid-fire wordplay on “Mixed Up”).

EDITORS’ NOTES

Matching street credibility with natural flow and sharp pop instincts, Flame goes from strength to strength on his seventh album, Royal Flush. Flame’s lyrics stress personal redemption while maintaining a playful tone that makes the Word go down easy. This time out, he enlists an impressive lineup of guest stars as he runs through a consistently uplifting set. The opening track (“Break the Building,” a fiery declaration of faith) and the closing number (“Start Over,” a pop-influenced tune featuring NF's urgent vocals) bookend the album with a compassionate message that reaches out to nonbelievers. In between are club-beat sermons (“Sanctuary”), fervent electronica anthems (“Game Over”), Jamaican-slanted testimonies (“Baited”), and tormented prayers over hypnotic grooves (“Maranatha”). Especially incisive is “Stackin’,” a biting commentary on greed and spiritual blindness. Flame is helped immensely by such notables as singer V. Rose (who adds a yearning edge to “Read Em & Weep”) and rappers K-Drama and D-Maub (laying down rapid-fire wordplay on “Mixed Up”).

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3:30
3:47
3:42
3:28
3:17
4:46
2:35
3:29
4:10
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4:22
3:22
1:30
3:16

About Flame

A Christian rapper with numerous Dove, Stellar, and Grammy nominations, Flame was born Marcus T. Gray in the city of St. Louis, Missouri. He made his debut in 2004 with a self-titled album on Cross Movement Records and earned his first Dove Award nomination a year later with the release of the album Rewind. In 2007 he launched a two-album series with Our World: Fallen landing that year and Our World: Redeemed -- his first Grammy-nominated album -- arriving in 2008. He introduced his own label, Clear Sight Music, with his 2010 album, Captured. His appropriately titled sixth album, The 6th, landed on the label in 2011, becoming Flame's second consecutive Billboard Gospel chart-topper. Ryan Fullerton, Mike Real, KB, and others made guest appearances on his 2013 release, Royal Flush, which was nominated for a Dove Award for Rap Album of the Year. Forward was released in 2015, featuring guests Jai, Mike Real, and Melinda Watts. In early 2018, Flame issued his ninth effort, God Knows, which featured a contemporary, Drake-esque, trap-influenced rap sound and guests KB, J Carter, Spec, Bizzle & Sicily, and more. ~ David Jeffries & Neil Z. Yeung

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