Hacktivist groups TeaMp0isoN and Anonymous have teamed up with an independent artist to release a rap song which they hope will storm the music charts.
Proceeds from the #OpCensorThis digital activism project, a collaboration between TeaMp0isoN and Lyricist Jinn – will go to the East Africa Crisis Appeal. A slick professionally produced video was released to accompany the tune, which enjoyed a delayed release via iTunes and YouTube on Wednesday.
The video features images from the London riots this summer along with satirical depictions of authority figures and corporations set aside images of youth protest. The delivery of the rap by Lyricist Jinn is earnest, strident but more than a little on the flat side. He lacks the delivery of Eminem, the lyricism of Berkowski or the humourous edge of John Cooper Clarke that might have made the effort more interesting in its own right.
Overall it's a credible effort, however, and certainly far superior to anything produced as a result of Symantec's ill-starred HackisWack rap competition last year. "People need to understand that lyricist jinn is a fully independent artist with limited capabilities, listen to the lyrics and humble yourselves," TeaMp0isoN said in comments on the YouTube video. Early reaction to the video – which has clocked up just over 4,000 views by Thursday morning – is mixed.
Although Anonymous is focusing on the ongoing Wall Street occupation protests, TeaMp0isoN is bigging up its effort to storm the chart.
"Remember to like & favourite the video, so it can be featured in the music section on youtube," TeaMp0isoN encouraged its Twitter followers.
The group previously said that any attempts by the music industry to thwart their plans will be accompanied by reprisal hack attacks. "Once this hits the charts, radio stations will by law have to play it," the project's manifesto stated. "If they censor the song we will attack the music industry and censor them instead."
Some limited hacking around the release already appears to have happened. "A kashmiri hacktivist friend just defaced an indian government site in support of #OpCensorThis," TeaMp0isoN said in apparent approval.
The hacktivists are turning to song to get its message across, something reflected in the dense lyrics of #OpCensorThis.
"I solemnly vow/To crack the wrists/Of any who wish to test the power of the hacktivists," one section of the polemical tune states.
TeaMp0isoN is a hacktivist group and sometime rival to LulzSec, best known for its defacement of BlackBerry Blog in the immediate aftermath of the London riots. The BlackBerry defacement threatened to reveal the addresses of RIM employees in the event that the Canadian smartphone manufacturer followed through on plans to turn its BlackBerry Messengers logs to police investigating incidents of incitement related to the London lootings. The group also hacked the far-right English Defence League website back in February. ®