The story reads like something out of a George Orwell novel: in the lead up to last year’s G20 summit in Toronto, hip-hop duo Test Their Logik get tossed in jail and charged with conspiracy and other indictable offences — for releasing a music video titled “Crash the Meeting.”
“The warrants went out under our hip-hop stage names, they went out with pictures from our MySpaces,” says Testament (above left), one half of the socially conscious rap duo. “While we were in jail, the prison guards referred to us as ‘the rappers.’ It was very much targeted because of the music.”
After three days in jail, Testament and Ilogik were released under the condition that they weren’t allowed to communicate with each other. Five months later, the charges against the two were stayed (“I guess they realised they couldn’t get a conviction based solely on a music video,” says Testament) and they picked up right back where they started.
“For me, I feel like if they take us that seriously, we should take ourselves that seriously too and own that,” the Toronto-based rapper says.
In addition to a forthcoming album and new music videos, Test Their Logik have launched into a coast-to-coast tour, including a stop in Victoria. Joined by indigenous rapper Savage Fam, hip-hop artists Mother Tareka and Cleo Madelaine as well as Comrade Black and Andrea Coates, the Sunday, April 3 gig at Solstice Cafe (529 Pandora) promises to be a night of thought-provoking words and beats. Doors are at 6:30 p.m. and admission is a $6 to $15 sliding scale, with free admission for indigenous youth.