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Rapper Dessa Darling performs “Velodrome” off her 2018 album, Chime, at City Winery in 2019. Chime was listed as one of NPR Music’s 40 Favorite Albums of 2018.

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Dessa is an acclaimed singer and writer. She is known for her leadership of hip hop collective Doomtree and its associated record label, as well as for her wide-ranging solo work.

Born Margret Wander in Minneapolis in 1981, she earned a BA in philosophy at  University of Minnesota. Dessa began writing spoken word poetry in the early 2000s, initially adapting personal essays into verse. She joined Doomtree in 2005 as a rapper and lyricist, appeared on all three of the group’s studio albums, and released several solo albums on the Doomtree label.

As a writer, Dessa has published two books of poetry and contributed travel writing to New York Times Magazine and National Geographic Traveler. Her study into the neuroscience of love yielded essays in her acclaimed 2018 collection My Own Devices, and influenced her third solo album, Chime (2018), which made number 3 on the Billboard indie charts. She has also performed and toured with the Minnesota Orchestra and contributed a track to the Billboard-topping album The Hamilton Mixtape.