Calm is a hip-hop duo featuring rapper Time and producer Awareness. Time has also done engineering work for Common and is a journalist who has worked with Noam Chomsky.
They recently released the concept album “Conversations with A Willow Tree.” The album is an ode to a willow tree set in a dystopian world where plants are the heroes that fight colonialism and environmental collapse.
“Landlord of the Gentriflies,” which appears on the album, is a scathing critique of gentrification. The opening verse from Time features the hard-hitting rebuke: “Since that eviction letter, this ain’t really been home”.
It continues, “Landlord didn’t discover this, that’s Chris Columbus syndrome. We’re just trying to raise the roof, they just wanna raise the rent. I’ve been working 3 jobs, I gave that cracker every cent. Landlord of the flies, dollar signs in his eyes. Let’s stop working for the rich, so we can live our fucking lives.”
The second verse is from Canadian rapper Lee Reed, known for his political lyrics and social
activism. His verse further explores the ill effects of capitalist-fueled gentrification.
“Half a million evicted they still insisting the system work. Assisted living let you live in thirst. This government place people second, business first. They gentrified our existence, but we been dispersed,” Reed raps.
Renter’s rights is a subject close to Reed’s heart. He recently released “Drop The Charges,” a
charitable single whose proceeds support the Hamilton Encampment Support Network (HESN).
HESN is an organization that supports homeless residents of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Just like several major cities throughout the world, the housing crisis is forcing more people onto the streets.
Listen to “Landlord of the Gentriflies”: