Kim Gordon seethes over a looming housing crisis on “Debt Collector”
Kim Gordon joined Erica Dawn Lyle of Bikini Kill and musician/filmmaker Vice Cooler for a scathing rebuke of a growing land and real estate crisis, “Debt Collector.” The track will appear on Lyle and Cooler’s upcoming album, Land Trust: Benefit for Northeast Farmers of Color, out June 3.
“Debt Collector,” with its smashing drums and gnarly industrial synths, delivers a brutal instrumental punch that pairs perfectly with Gordon’s quintessential disaffected vocal delivery. “You’re not welcome/In the gated community,” Gordon says, “We bought the block/But you gotta have money/If you want one/You gotta bring your soul/You gotta pay l ‘money.”
In a statement, Gordon explained that his words were inspired by the “financialization” of housing, whereby large corporations and investment firms scoop up massive shares of real estate to trade as a speculative asset while ignoring the needs tenants. “I’m a bit obsessed with what’s going on with these big financial companies like BlackRock and Blackstone buying houses and becoming owners,” Gordon said. “They pay far beyond the value of a house, putting homeownership even beyond the reach of the middle class – let alone the working class.”
(Following the publication of this article, a representative of BlackRock sent rolling stone a statement challenging Gordon’s quote, saying,
“BlackRock does not buy single-family homes…BlackRock is an active investor in the US housing market, but we are not among the institutional investors who buy single-family homes.)
The “Debt Collector” video, directed by Cooler, helps visualize aspects of this phenomenon, juxtaposing security cameras and high gates with residences being evicted and new condo developments. “Kim created a very powerful lyrical statement about real estate and land, and the companies that bought up (and laundered) properties at the expense of low-income and working-class housing,” Cooler said. “His words really resonated with me because I was moved from three homes as an adult and I’m constantly anxious that I won’t be able to get stable housing at all – let alone be able to afford a house.”
“Debt Collector” is Lyle and Cooler’s second offering Land Trust, after “Mirrorball”, which features Lyle’s Bikini Kill teammate Kathleen Hanna. The collection will include additional contributions from the Linda Lindas, Raincoats, Alice Bag, Kelley Deal, and more.
This story was updated on 5/20/22 12:13 PM with a statement from BlackRock.