Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different songs as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday, we deliver songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Children’s Work” by Dessa from their 2010 album A Badly Broken Code on Doomtree Records.
Hailing from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Margret Winder is emcee of the solo hip-hop sensation known as Dessa (aka Dessa Darling). Initially known for her exceptional writing skills and slam poetry work, she hadn’t yet had her first serious foray into the world of underground hip-hop until she joined the ranks of Doomtree Collective. Regardless that she was the lone female member of the group, it was quickly obvious Dessa had the skills to break new ground. Her first full-length album, A Badly Broken Code, released just this year, showcases all of her skills, mixing elements of spoken-word poetry and rap over perfectly produced hip-hop beats. Nowhere are her lyrical skills more evident than in today’s featured selection, “Children’s Work,” a powerful story about the misunderstood childhood life she shared with her brother:
Before you came along i was a lone cub,
Fell in love with language, tried to tell the grown-ups
About the storm clouds, the weather in my head…
You were so tender, we thought something was wrong with you.
So patient, we thought that you were deaf,
you were so solemn, so tiny but so ancient…
Children aren’t as simple,
As we’d like to think.
Nor would anyone think that Dessa’s work is simple either. As a collective album, A Badly Broken Code is an amazing effort and a great new direction for modern hip-hop: Thoughtful, sharp, self-exploring yet self-confident. Listen and see why Dessa is easily one of the brightest new stars in hip-hop.
Unfortunately, Dessa just wrapped up her recent tour, but with luck she’ll be back through the Northwest again in no time. For now, you can find out more about her and listen to additional tracks on her MySpace page and the Doomtree website. You can also enjoy this video of her new single “Dixon’s Girl”: