Thursday, January 21, 2010


Although people outside of Minneapolis might still reminisce over the Replacements, Husker Du, or even Prince and Morris Day when thinking about the city's musical offerings, hip-hop has always been on the minds and in the souls of its residents. The city's hip-hop rep might still be considered underground on the national level (or, is it), but, people in this town are as passionate about their music as any other -- and, probably more. Would you leave your cozy apartment and schlep through the snow in -30 degree weather to check out local hip-hop on a Tuesday night? If you're from Minneapolis you would.

From Atmosphere and the entire Rhymesayers label (, Eyedea and Abilities, Brother Ali, Felt, Heiruspecs, and the Doomtree Collective ( - this city has a wealth of talented MC's, musicians, producers, and dj's involved in the game. Any of these acts could easily take it to the next level, it's only a matter of time.

The Doomtree collective is a hip-hop crew, yes, but they are also a fast-growing label. Their biggest resident might be critically-acclaimed MC, P.O.S., but, they've also got Cecil Otter, SIMS, Mike Mictlan, Lazerbeak, Paper Tiger, and, the writer and MC I'm here to talk about -- Dessa.

Dessa's debut full-length album, "A Badly Broken Code," was released this past Tuesday. What I've listened to so far is a complex mix of dazzling wordplay and hip-hop production with trace elements of RnB, with more than a few nods to vintage torch singers. Her voice is gorgeous, the production is killer, and, the songs are not only solid, they're inspiring.

Here are a few cuts from "A Badly Broken Code" ala youtube:

Dixon's Girl

The Crow

Alibi (not the best sound quality on this one)

Buy Dessa's album on Doomtree:

Check out Dessa's profile on Myspace:

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