Easily one of the most well-rounded members of the Minneapolis-based hip-hop collective Doomtree, Dessa (aka Dessa Darling, born Margret Wander) first made a name for herself in the world of poetry slam, eventually forming the group Medida, which would introduce her to the musical scene that made her a critical and popular darling of the Twin Cities music scene. Developing her skills as a writer and artist as both and undergrad and Master's student at the University of Minnesota (she would eventually earn both a B.A. and an M.A in Philosophy), Dessa took her passion for spoken word poetry out into the Minneapolis scene, eventually introducing her to the people (MC Yoni, in particular) that would lead her to direct interaction, and eventually membership in, the Doomtree collective. Once establishing her skills as an MC in the group, Dessa released a solo EP, False Hopes, in 2005. Widely acclaimed by the local press, the EP made a number of year-end critic lists, and established her as the rising star within Doomtree. Over the next few years, Dessa focused on giving back to Doomtree, appearing on countless solo works as well as the collective's group albums. In 2009, she became the first of the bunch to release a book of her written work, entitled Spiral Bound. This upward movement only increased as 2010 saw the national release of her first solo full-length, A Badly Broken Code. The album, already having created a buzz before its release, won an avalanche of critical acclaim, and was a brisk seller in her home city. The rest of 2010 would find Dessa embarked on a 40-city tour with P.O.S. (also of Doomtree) to support the record. She has also appeared at a number of local literary events in the Twin Cities, in addition to her work with the all-female a cappella group the Boy Sopranos. ~ Chris True
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