Test Their Logik Debut Album: “A”

“No One Is Illegal,” the latest video from Test Their Logik

Anarchist hip-hop duo Test Their Logik, fresh off G20 conspiracy charges and recently back from a coast-to-coast Canadian tour, are pleased to announce the release of their highly-anticipated debut album. Recorded, produced, and mixed by Illogik and mastered by Metalworks Studios (known for producing hip-hop acts such as Drake, DMX, and K-OS), “A” is uncompromising in both message and sound. Offering 11 new songs and 3 bonus tracks in just under an hour, it’s a lyrical explosion in the face of authority and oppression, a sonic boom in the ears of big brother, and a no-holds-barred escape into rebellion.

Ushering in a new era of subversive anti-authoritarian hip-hop, Test Their Logik delivers clear methodical rhymes alternating with rapid-fire lyrical assaults over dark bass- and synth-heavy beats. The album begins with a lyrical experiment never tried by even the most renowned lyricists: a full song only using words that start with the letter A. This title track sets the bar high for what comes next: everything from confrontation to reflection, to dancing, to imprisonment, and liberation.

Test Their Logik formed in the summer of 2009. They’ve toured extensively throughout North America, playing benefit shows for prisoners and grassroots projects and performing at anti-capitalist convergences including the protests against the Vancouver Olympics, the Toronto G20 summit, and the Cancún COP16 meeting. Their music has inspired revolutionaries around the world and been demonized by law enforcement agencies, corporate media outlets, and right-wing pundits. This is hip-hop as it should be: raw, forceful, polarizing, intelligent, and real.

16 thoughts on “Test Their Logik Debut Album: “A”

  1. “The album begins with a lyrical experiment never tried by even the most renowned lyricists: a full song only using words that start with the letter A.”

    Hopefully, the album continues on with a lyrical experiment tried by even the most generic lyricists, like compound rhymes. But the sample track is not a good sign. Given that they pressed a double album you would think they would do it, if for nothing else, than the sheer boredom of not doing it. It seems their love for people, the planet and anarchist rebellion maybe matched only by their antipathy for interesting rhyme patterns.

    And sure, some tracks will call for dose of what the kids are calling “swag”. But a certain point, like when you’re doing a song about people being equal and you are using the most contrived macho posturing you can possibly muster, it all gets a bit ridiculous.

  2. everything4every1: talk about macho posturing, you’re hating on TTL reeks of some hormonal need to one-up real talent with contrived insults. Did you even listen to the whole song? It has some of the most clever lyrics and interesting rhyme patterns that I’ve heard in a song.

  3. everything4every1 – Stop being a punk-ass hater and I dunno… listen to the album before shitting on it?? If you even listened to the whole song you would notice different rhyme patterns throughout it.. ilistening to it i found internal rhymes, multi-liners, and compound multi-syllabic rhymes.. maybe its just not the generic pattern you’re used to. In any case that track is bangin’! Everyone in tdot is bumpin that shit right now sucker…

  4. Yeah, mine was a pointlessly hostile comment that did precisely what it accused others of. Having rewatched No One Is Illegal more than a couple of times I think it was untrue to say that there’s an excessive amount of posturing. But I still think it fits in with a larger trend of male political rappers doing songs where everything has to be as ‘hardcore’ as they can possibly make it. But maybe I’m overly sensitive to it and looking for it where it isn’t.

    Also, having now transcribed the lyrics to try and find what it is people are saying is so good, I concede that it’s not true to say that there are absolutely no interesting rhyme schemes. In fact the last 8 or so bars of the second verse were tight and the second verse is generally better than the first.

    ‘face it, this system is racist, the basis is classist,
    but most of the poor have brown faces,
    fact is class is tide to what race is,
    a perception twised into what hate is,’

    But other than that, sure there’s the odd internal rhyme and a few multis. But you’re bound to accidentally write a couple of two or three syllable multis when you’re writing that many bars. The bulk of it is really basic multi-liners. It’s really not that hard to write concurrent sentence fragments that end in a word that rhymes with ‘hate’.

    I know there’s a tendency to want to deny the faults in something you politically agree with. But I struggle to think of any non-political MC out today that would do a track with at least 14 bars in it that have little more than one rhyming syllable at the end of them and no metaphors or punchlines or relates something about their personal experience. It’s even harder to think of that track getting any props for it’s lyricism.

    You should know it’s a racist [state]
    a collonised genocidal corporate [cage]
    only the priveleged get through the [gate]
    and their so-called freedom is built by [slaves]
    the black sheep and the goats they [scape]
    the targets of anti-migrant [hate]
    stop complaining about the jobs they [take]
    no living [wage] exploited and [underpaid]
    to work the fields and put food on your [plates]
    economic prisons we’re the in[mates]
    scattered peoples we are dis[placed]
    no we can’t get caught do whatever it [takes]
    best organise mobilise and make a jail [break]

    Also, from what I could see, the only metaphors or any attempt to be poetic and use imagery to paint a picture is stuff that’s so ubiquitous as to barely count. Capitalists are the mafia, America is Babylon, society is a cage, we slave for a wage, the land was raped etc. For me, it sounds too much like an anarchist agit-prop pamphlet that’s been quickly edited with a rhyming dictionary.

    I haven’t heard the album, but I have heard Crash the Meeting and it’s not as severe, but it has the similar characteristics. But if they like it and other people like it, than that’s great. But I think that they would increase their appeal if they worked on these things.

  5. everything4every1: ok.. wow… well, I have a lot to respond to here… but the main thing that caught my attention on your latest rant was your dig at TTL’s political crtiique. I was actually entirely impressed with the depth of analysis of their song, but am guessing that it only sounds like agit-prop to you because you lack the depth of analysis to appreciate it’s accuracy.

    As I see it, between the two verses, TTL was able to capture the root causes of migration (yes “land stolen” as a result of NAFTA and other land privatization and foreign investment promotion schemes common in Central America, which are brokered by a handful of corporate and country representatives “int’l mob”.) Meanwhile, they cover racist scapegoating, make an analogy to the underground railroad (which is an apt parallel given a broader turtle island-wide analysis of the roots of poverty and displacement, economic slavery and criminalization), and point out (and cleverly, I might add) the huge irony in the fact that the European settler population is the demographic imposing this system of borders onto a largely Native American population. They also manage to talk about temporary workers, add a critique of rent/property, and mention exactly how Canadian and US society at large benefits financially from this arrangement.

    I’m sorry if it all sounds cliche to you… maybe that’s because well, economic imperialism has been a reality for a while now, and the left isn’t failing due to a lack of accurate critique! I attribute their spot-on critique to the fact that they are actually active parts of the movements that they rep in their songs, and I guess that is also why I react defensively when I see nit-picky critiques of their rhyme patterns, when overall they are doing some of the best work that I see out there in terms of radical hiphop, and doing it on no budget with help from the movements that they support! I think that lyrically, the song is poetic, clever, powerfully delivered, and spot on! I feel like the amount of time that you have put towards tearing it apart just shows that your ego can’t let go of one-upping this track. I understand that maybe you were triggered by their “Swagger”, but seriously… stop hating on TTL! And if you have some constructive criticism, e-mail them with it instead of being the first person to post on the site where they are trying to reach others with their music and message! Haters gonna hate, but seriously… let it go!

  6. By agit-prop I didn’t mean that it was shallow. The politics of what they were saying was never in question. They are spot on politically. But you’re right. Too much talking from me.

  7. everything for everyone – glad to see you check yourself on the posturing comment. but your comment of it lacking personal experience is wrong. Our disgust of borders and the immigration system is as much personal as it is political, one of us has had a parent deported, both of us have been denied freedom of movement through borders, and have faced racist violence by white settler-society.

    As for the rhyme patterns, you picked the 13 MOST basic bars of the song to make your point/claim that it has nothing but single syllable multiliners.. but here is everything you overlooked within those bars:

    alliteration is capitalized
    the independent internal rhymes are
    the phoenetic multisyllabic rhymes are also expanded some are actually 4 syllables and trust me it wasnt an accident [ ]
    and the strong metaphor/wordplay is pointed out in { }

    You should know it’s a racist [state]
    a al Corporate [Cage]
    only the privileged Get through the [Gate]
    and their so-called freedom is Built By [slaves]
    we’re the Black sheep and the goats they [scape] {strong metaphor/word craft}
    the targets of anti-[migrant hate]
    stop complaining about the [jobs they take]
    no [living wage] exploited and [underpaid]
    to work the Fields and put Food on your [Plates]
    economic Prisons [we’re the inmates]
    scattered Peoples [we are displaced]
    now we Can’t get Caught do [whatever it takes]

    Anyways, go back to listening to corporate death-culture hip-hop since thats clearly what your more into.

  8. shiiit everything i put in brackets as internal rhymes got cut out for some html shit..

  9. Yeah, I did notice the scape goat word play, I should have mentioned it. I concede the colonised and genocidal are an internal. Maybe it’s an accent thing (I’m not from Nth America) but to my ear, ‘migrant’, ‘jobs they’, ‘living’ and ‘under’, do not rhyme in any combination and neither does ‘whatever’ and ‘we are’. So I’m not hearing most of those multis you pointed out.

    Yes, I did chose 13 of the most basic bars but that’s a significant chunk of a song and I also included what I thought were the tightest bars of the song. I won’t say that I never listen to corporate hip hop, but the people I’m listening to now are Invincible, Immortal Technique (who can be pretty basic in his own right but makes up for it in either personal stuff or metaphors), Narcicyst/Euphrates and more local rappers. As the best bars of your track show, you don’t have to be corporate to be tight.

  10. hello
    how are you?
    i am writing from japan
    how can i get TTL’s ‘Arrested Development’ album, please?
    thank you

  11. Although he calls himself a communist I’ve always identified strongly with the work of the rapper Zearle.

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