Two of our favorite hip hop artists, Testament and Illogik, are facing serious charges for their alleged involvement in the historic protests against the G20 summit in Toronto last June.
Performing as Test Their Logik, the two were in the middle of preparing their debut album when they were arrested. Now their release conditions prohibit them from associating with each other, and they are unable to continue recording.
Fortunately, we managed to get our hands on the material they finished just before their arrests, and we’re releasing it as a benefit to help with their legal expenses. This is some of the most powerful, passionate music we’ve heard in years; it’s an honor to share it here.
Click here to make a donation to the Test Their Logik Legal Fund.
The album is available here for free downloading, but we urge everyone to donate to their support fund. If you can’t use Paypal, click here to learn how to send a check to their support committee.
The charges against Testament and Illogik are a shameless attack on political activism. The two have been outspoken critics of the G20, the 2010 Olympics, and capitalism in general, publicly speaking out even when others were intimidated into silence. They are among over 100 people facing conspiracy charges in connection with the G20 protests, an unprecedented crackdown on dissent.
The charges are also an attack on hip hop. Sure to come up in the trial is the Crash the Meeting video the two released to promote the G20 protests, which has received nearly 50,000 views on youtube. The video is hardly shocking by corporate hip hop standards; it doesn’t objectify women, promote guns or gang violence, or glorify personal acquisition of wealth. Instead, it spreads a positive message of collective struggle against tyranny—exactly the kind of message the authorities want to keep out of popular music.
Before corporate America started paying attention, groups like Public Enemy used hip hop to spread revolutionary messages and consciousness. Profiteers moved into the hip hop market not only to make millions off it but also to promote artists who rap about pimpin and blingin instead of social change.
Test Their Logik take hip hop back to real life, describing the destruction wrought by capitalism and calling for grassroots resistance. Everything they predicted in the Crash the Meeting video came true in Toronto beyond anyone’s wildest expectations. Essentially, they’re being charged for having their finger on the pulse. The authorities can try to jail the messengers, but there’s nothing they can do to stop the music.
Testament and Illogik were arrested June 27, 2010. Both are charged with Conspiracy to Commit an Indictable Offense, Council to Commit an Indictable Offense, and Disguise with Intent to Commit an Indictable Offense. Testament was also charged with breach of bail as a result of being arrested wheatpasting posters about the G20 in London, Ontario a week before the summit; the charges from that arrest were dropped immediately afterwards and the London police chief went on record saying they had only charged him so he would be out on bail conditions during the G20. Bail was set at $20,000 each.
The release conditions for the two include not associating with each other, not associating with members of “Black Bloc” [sic], not possessing anything that could be used as a disguise including bandanas and scarves, and not associating with various people from Quebec they’ve never met. If you want to support them but you can’t use Paypal, mail a check made out to Russell Silverstein to:
Test Their Logik Legal Defense Fund C/O Submedia 2746 East Hastings St. #57024 Vancouver BC V5K 5G8 Canada
And I’m a poltergeist, you know a violent spirit Product of a world with too much violence in it So many people trees and animals’ll die in a minute Can’t ask them to stop, they ain’t tryin to hear it