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Band Hip Hop Spoken Word


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"The Source Review"

Desda-what, Desda-who? Hip-Hop and spoken word heads in the Twin Cities already know, but outside the cold reaches of Minnesota not many people have heard of Desdamona. She's a five time state champion of "Best Spoken Word Artist" which makes her one of the hardest spitters out there, a contemporary of orators like Saul Williams and Jello Biafra, but somehow I've missed seeing her on "Def Poetry." That's not to say she hasn't, but it's possible the committee who choses artists to appear on the Russell Simmons funded function have somehow managed to overlook her skills. That's impossible to do once you've heard "Infinity (Ill Chemistry)" the opening track of "The Source":

"None like Des she be original
Singular sensation, not your typical
Where I'm from I am the pinnacle
I stand alone, un-for-get-table
Infinity, in-finite-I
When I die they gon' call me the live
From the way that I do, to the things that I write
The legacy I leave is bright, right
Mystical critical, birthed into the true
Seminal radical, sincere in every move
Actual factual, I hear the fear in you
Transformin retractable convertible COOL!
Shapeshift adaptable, now invisible
So diverse I leave MC's miserable"

Set to a beatbox backdrop by Carnage these lyrics pack a powerful punch that take other MC's out to lunch and eat them for dinner. Desdamona is not all about lyrical ferocity though as she shows a softer side on the seductive and sly title track:

"Remember love
Lullabies linger like lollipops on luscious lips
I grab the mic but it slips from my grip
Sticks like the sweet to my tooth cavities
Like gravity capture me pull me back to eternity
Wisdom focused on the future, grasped to the past
Gotta hold on to make that goodness last"

Desdamona displays a wide diversity of styles on "The Source," and in fact it seems that almost any reviewer would be incapable of pinning her down to one style, thought, philosophy or genre. "Refracted Light" or "Mellow Blue" would be at home in a smooth R&B mix, while tracks like "What I Might Say" and "Triple Goddess" are hip-hop flows at their finest. Meanhile oratorical gems like "Too Big for My Skin" and "Miss America" are powerful poetical expressions that sound like Ursula Rucker bonus tracks from the end of albums by The Roots.

Which of these styles best defines the deft and adept Desdamona? All of them and none of them. Like any great spoken word poet, Desdamona defines words as musical in their own right, embracing the power and beauty of oral communication in all forms. She sings the words when they need to be sung, speaks the words when they need to be heard, and gets all up in your grill if it fits the bill. "The Source" is a statement putting Desdamona on the map, not asking but DEMANDING you pay attention to what it is she has to say. The good news is that what she has to say is not only worthwhile but universally accessible, a lyrical adventure backed by strong production from the likes of Paul Marino, Carnage and even (surprise) Sly & Robbie throughout. "The Source" is an album that's going to turn a lot of heads and open a lot of eyes, and you may be seeing more of Desdamona in the mainstream sooner than you think.

Music Vibes: 8 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 8.5 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 8.5 of 10


"CD Baby Customer Reviews The Source"


author: G Pagel
Music like this will never be allowed to become mainstream, but it is imperative that we hear it. I must confess that I had a hockey puck in my throat for most of it -- hearing this music has made me a better person.

Triple-threat Goddess strikes with a heavy blow!
author: Carnage The Executioner
Desdamona is a perfect exxxample of exxxperienced song-writing, lyrical versatility & mic regulation. Whether boasting while rapping about how ill she is with her spit ("Infinity"), singing about being swept off her feet by a seemingly imaginery XY chromozone ("Orange & Blue", "Mellow Blue"), or telling riveting stories about the plight of woman using complexxx metaphors through spoken word ("Miss America", "Too Big For My Skin"), she always makes it a point to actually make a point! No wasting of words happening here! Her delivery displays breath control & varying intensities depending on the mood of the song and/or the song's content. No matter what way she chooses to rattle off her thoughts, she manages to keep it Hip Hop throughout the album. Music production ranges from jazzy, smooth & squeeky-clean to up-tempo and oldschool, but overall easy to vibe too...Cop "The Source" and see what family, friends and fans alike are ranting and raving about!

Thanks for making this wonderful cd!!
author: Lynn
It will take me months worth of continuous listens to absorb all of the lyrical talent and fantastic musicality that makes up this cd. The flow of The Source is something that is lost on 99% of other cds these days. I will definitely be purchasing additional copies to pass onto friends!

amazing, captures the essence of how wonderful Desdamona is live
author: Shannon Turner
If you've ever had the pleasure of seeing Desdamona live on stage, you know the energy, flow, intelligence, and strength that she embodies. Now, "The Source" gives you the opportunity to take all that home with you. Every song makes you want to move your body, and the stories in the songs are both specific and universal. Buy it. You will not be sorry.

Wow! What a fantastic CD! Love this performer!
author: Harmonica Man
Wow! What a fantastic CD! Love this performer! This woman is a gifted professional.

Must have CD!!!
author: TL
The Source is one of those few and far between albums...there isn't a single song you want to skip over. Desdamona is probably the fiercest current lyricist, and that is demonstrated on The Source in spades. It's safe to say if you like hip hop, spoken word, neo soul, jazz, reggae, or music in general, you'll love this CD.

Desdamona is a superstar storyteller with rhyme and rhythm!
author: Becky
Desdamona is a superstar storyteller with rhyme and rhythm! Her words are well chosen and meaningful. I have many favorites on this album - actually all of them! Each song has it's own flavor and each one is wonderful. You really should buy this one. It's going to be big!

Innovative, Soulful, Rhythmic, Diverse
author: StefDevine
This is a CD that combines so many different styles of music. Desdamona's lyrics have a rhythm to them that puts you at ease and brings you into her world at the same time. I've never heard anything like it!! Buy this CD!!!

author: J love
Lyrically sounded, hypnotic beats, melodic words, flourishing on all songs immeasurablly with full energy sapping me. I was in awe and I commend you for your talent. Keep striving and surviving sista~


"Desdamona & Carnage"

Carnage and Desdamona took to the stage in what was a very refreshing set, with Carnage beatboxing all the beats, aided by his trusty pedal and Desdamona hitting the crowd with her usual ballsy delivery. The duo complimented each other perfectly and set the rest of the night up well.

"First Listen/Warm Fuzzies"

After writing these reviews, I attended the CD listening party for Desdamona’s new CD The Source and I was able to bring home a promo copy. I can honestly say that this might be the breakout local CD of the year. It’s just the feeling I get after a couple of listens: a musical high with warm fuzzies. (Does anyone remember the story of the Warm Fuzzies?) Desdamona has expanded her musical talent exponentially. I plan to not just review this CD, but talk to her about the new album and how she feels about it in an upcoming installment.

"Make Em Cry, Girl..."

If you’re not familiar with the genre of musical literature known as spoken word, or performance poetry, check out the best national online magazine on the subject, Metaphor, published by local journalist Matt Peiken. If you’re not familiar with Desdamona, see her as soon as you can. Take your mother. Take your daughters. I’m serious.

In fact, one of the highlights of Desdamona’s program was the moment after she performed a soulful piece about an abused woman who serves time for killing her abuser. A woman’s voice called from the audience, “I need a hug.” The woman rose from her folding chair and walked toward the stage. Desdamona stepped down from her riser. They hugged. They both burst into tears. My group assumed it was her mother, but I checked with Desdamona and she said, "That wasn't my Mom. Just a random person who needed a hug." There was not a dry eye under the patio sky.

"Mr. G gives Props"

The Source is set to wake up minds and inspire those you always wanted to try, something. Desdamona shines THE LIGHT on those willing to look and listen, from true soul, a taste of hip hip and man if there isn’t a madd dash of Reggae flow mixed with a poetic reality. This album is the SOURCE of being aware that you are a human BEING not just a human DOING.





Desdamona – The Source LP (2007)
Desdamona – The Ledge LP (2005)
Desdamona – Resilience EP (2002)
Desdamona: Alive at First Avenue (EP) (2000)

Featured on:
“We Will Always B” from the LP - Brother Ali Rites of Passage (Rhymesayers)
“Monique” from the LP - Various Varietals Volume 1 (Groove Garden Records)
“Imagine” from the LP - Various Words Will Heal the Womb (TruRuts/MNSWA)
“What is Hip Hop?” from the LP - DJ King IXL Been In It For a Minute (Rhymesayers)
“Fist” & “A Small Liberation” from the LP - The Poet Tree Live at the Blue Nile (Independent)
“Respect the Life” from the LP - Musab Respect the Life (Rhymesayers)
“Rhyme Tissue” from the LP - Various Luca Moved Upstairs (Rosemary Records)
“Evolution is Outdated” from the LP - Various Evolution is Outdated (Rosemary Records)
Cheap Cologne's Something Random (Broke Ass Records)
"Refracted Light" w/Thomasina from the LP - Volume Won (
“The Depths” from the LP - Atlas Dusk Proof of Purchase – (Independent)
“Slow Down” from the LP - DJ Green & EMS Elixer (Independent)
“Hip Hop Means…” from the LP – Trama Dusa The Ugly Album (Independent)
“Change Gon Come” from the LP – Man.i.fest Manifestations (Independent)
“The Stank” from the LP – Carnage the Executioner Sense of Sound (Hecatomb)



-Desdamona was a featured vocalist on a 15 date summer tour alongside Grammy Award winners Sly & Robbie.
-Desdamona played to a capacity crowd at the famed Hollywood Bowl.
-Desdamona played to a crowd of over 15,000 at the Reggae Rising Festival, 2007.
-Desdamona is a 5 time MN Music Award winner for Best Spoken Word Artist
-Desdamona is a multiple MN Music Award nominee in fields of Hip Hop and Artist of the Year
-Desdamona has voiced numerous commercials; i.e. Univ. of Minnesota and New York Stock Exchange
-Desdamona co-wrote and performed the theme song for WNBA’s Detroit Shock

“Where I’m from I am the pinnacle. I stand alone. Unforgettable.”
Desdamona “Infinity”

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 Hollywood Bowl, 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 Hawaii's largest Slam Championship in 2004, The Honolulu Slam. She has warmed the stages for numerous artists including: Faith Evans, Mint Condition, Wyclef Jean, Black Uhuru (Sly & Robbie), Jon B, GURU, Saul Williams, Bahamadia, Ursula Rucker, Zap Mama and Rhymesayers Artists.

“We are the mesh that these next children will be sifted through….so it’s our responsibility to give them something to hold on to.” Desdamona “Refracted Light”

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) successfully celebrated its third annual festival in June, 2007.

“I don’t stop. They call me prolific. Blessed at birth with the virtue to prevail.”
Desdamona “I Don’t Stop” (The Ledge)

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, MMA nominations for Best Hip Hop Recording, Critics’ Choice for Artist of the Year and Artist of the Year.

“I’m in the spot, struck by soul shock. I go from jazz, hip hop to hard rocka.” Desdamona “Planetarium – The Satellite”

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. 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 frequent 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.

“Recline, in this chair of mine, and let your soul fly high… close your eyes, hypnotized.” Desdamona “Mellow Blue”

Stepping out of her ‘comfort zone’ of rhyme, The Source includes songs “Orange and Blue” and “Mellow Blue”. These songs illustrate not only Desdamona’s singing ability, but her diversity as a gifted songwriter as well. 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, al