"I'm ready to let you go," Dessa sings on her new album, "Parts of Speech." That makes one of us. The Minneapolis-based performer is generating interest and excitement in an audience wider than the traditional local hip-hop market.
"Dessa is the rare vulnerable presence in a music genre built on trying to appear invulnerable," wrote music critic Chris Riemenschneider in the Star Tribune. "People identify with her — not just the young women at Doomtree shows who always seem more enamored of her than her handsome male cohorts Sims and Cecil Otter; but also the older, jaded hipsters who probably would've given up on hip-hop were it not for artists like her."
"Parts of Speech" defies easy categorization. It follows two earlier albums, "A Badly Broken Code" and "Castor, the Twin." Dessa joins The Daily Circuit to talk about the new album.
LEARN MORE ABOUT DESSA:
• Album Review: Dessa - Parts of Speech
At this point in her career, Dessa has little left to prove. In Minnesota, she's achieved total media saturation. Nationally, her profile has steadily risen with vocal support from flagship critics like Robert Christgau and media outlets like Elle Magazine and MTV. And all signs point to Parts of Speech serving as her biggest push toward a mainstream audience yet. (Andrea Swensson, The Current)
• A father's voice, carried on a wing and a wish
In the midst of my parents' divorce, my dad took me and Max on a nighttime trip to the lake near his new apartment. We were 8 and 14. He put a coin in Max's small hand, one in mine, and kept one for himself. We made wishes in the darkness, then threw the coins in the general direction of the lake. My throat began to ache.
"What did you wish?" I asked my dad.
"I wished that your wish would come true."
(Dessa, in a commentary for All Things Considered)
• Dessa: Breaking The Rules Of Rap
Dessa is the only woman in Doomtree, a predominantly white and punk-identified Minneapolis hip-hop collective whose best-known member is the African-American rapper P.O.S. I'm here to tell you that Dessa smokes P.O.S., even though she breaks all of the rap rules. Not because she breaks the rules; her clean timbre and stated preference for melody over rhythm don't bode well. But as it happens, Dessa is a fluent lyricist who really knows how to propel words with beats. (Robert Christgau, NPR)