Desdamona is the premiere female hip hop and spoken word artist in the Midwest. A FIVE time Minnesota Music Award winner for Best Spoken Word Artist (2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006). What about 2001 and 2002, you might ask? The award didn’t exist those two years. It is clear that Desdamona’s potent poetry and fierce hip hop delivery have been an invariable force. Making her mark not only in the Twin Cities, Desdamona has graced some of America’s most famous stages including The Green Mill in Chicago, The Five Spot in Philadelphia, The Nuyorican Poets Café in New York and The National Poetry Slam Competition. Des won Honolulu’s Slam 2004 Slam Championship. She has warmed the stages for numerous artists including: Faith Evans, Mint Condition, Wyclef Jean, Black Uhuru (Sly & Robbie), GURU, Saul Williams and Rhymesayers Artists.
Des has spent years working hard, not only on her own career, but making a point to help others along the way as well. She has organized and participated in countless events benefiting various charities over the past decade. For four years she has hosted a popular weekly open mic event at The Blue Nile (Minneapolis), giving artists and musicians the opportunity to showcase their talents and network. She also co-founded B Girl Be, the only female hip hop festival to incorporate all four elements of hip hop: mc’ing, breaking, dj’ing and graffiti. B Girl Be (named after one of her poems) will celebrate its third annual festival June, 2007.
In 2005, Desdamona released her first full length cd The Ledge. Largely produced by legendary duo Sly & Robbie, Desdamona garnered abundant positive write ups on the project, and earned, in addition to her win for Best Spoken Word Artist, nominations for Best Hip Hop Recording (The Ledge), Critics’ Choice for Artist of the Year and Artist of the Year.
Up next for Desdamona is the summer 2007 release of The Source. In her follow up to The Ledge, Desdamona is sure to shock many fans with the diverse offerings, and may just redefine that oft used term “triple-threat artist”. Traveling seamlessly between spitting vicious rhymes, singing melodious hooks or entire songs, or taking you on a journey as she effortlessly streams a thought provoking poem, it will amaze the listener that all that talent is coming from a sole artist. Desdamona also played a big part in the creation of The Source, co-producing 11 tracks on the album. On the cd’s opening track “Infinity”, Des teams with beatboxer Carnage for a high energy introduction, “Infinity, Infinite-I, when I die, they gonna call me the light, from the way that I do, to the things that I write, the legacy I leave is bright, right?”. The duo, aptly dubbed ‘Ill Chemistry’, is a rising pair on the scene, bringing you “old school hip hop from scratch”. Ill Chemistry earned a nod at the MMA’s last year for Best Hip Hop Artist or Group.
With talent abound, there’s no need for a guest “dropping 16” on every track. Instead, Desdamona holds her own, asking us to “…remember love, love is The Source” in the title track, and weaving family stories in “Refracted Light” and “Too Big for My Skin”. After weekly guest features with stellar Twin Cities band The New Congress, Des asked the band to produce two songs, “The Planetarium” and “Faulty Fuses”, previously released on The Ledge, as the songs quickly became fan favorites.
Stepping out of her ‘comfort zone’ of rhyme, The Source includes songs illustrating not only Desdamona’s singing ability, but her diversity as a gifted songwriter as well. In “Orange and Blue”, Des starts the song in love with Orange until; “…he started to lose his tangerine hue…now I’m in love with Blue”. The song continues into “Mellow Blue”, a jazz inspired tune that will leave the listener wishing for more of her subdued, smooth delivery. Carnage returns to provide the beat for “What I Might Say”, where Des declares “I might say what I might say, I might turn away, word warrior princess, don’t feel like fightin today.”
Two of the most emotional pieces on the album, both in content and delivery, are the poems “Hymn of the Human Spirit” and “Miss America”. These pieces are sure to leave a mark after the first listen, although the complexity of Des’s words will beckon for repeats. The Source will be a nationally released project on the Fuzzy Slippers Record Label.
The legendary Jamaican “Riddim Twins” Sly and Robbie are pleased to return to Desdamona’s follow up project, offering remixes to two songs on her album, (“The Source”, “Orange and Blue”). Drummer Sly Dunbar says, “The first time I ever heard Desdamona’s voice she drive me crazy! I want to wish her the best on her album…I know it’s going to do great for her!” Bassist Robbie Shakespeare adds, “That girl…she should be named Shakespeare! The way she puts words – I can’t explain! You have to listen and you get the feel because words can’t explain the way that girl work. Desdamona is the best!” If you want to hear the words from Sly and Robbie themselves, you can do just that at the end of “The Source” remix! Producer of The Source Paul Marino also praises Des saying, “Working with Desdamona on this album has been an incredible experience! Her beautiful voice and poetry, combined with her ability to deliver her songs and words with such passion and emotion is truly remarkable. Desdamona is one of the most talented and creative artists I’ve ever had the opportunity to work with. I feel blessed to have been able to be a part of this record.”
Desdamona says, “My intention in writing and recording The Source was to provoke thought, questions and communication, and engage people through my music. I want to inspire and motivate people to create and make change. I think that we are in a dark time and I want people to know that they have the power of light and the opportunity to create a new reality for themselves as individuals and as a global community.”