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    Posted May 15, 2015 by
    Port Elizabeth, South Africa

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    American rapper speaks to students in South Africa


    Port Elizabeth, South Africa: I had the honor of meeting Dessa, a rapper, hip hop artist, singer, spoken word artist, and writer from Minneapolis, Minnesota in the USA. She was in South Africa to deliver a Critical Theory Seminar at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University on Wednesday, May 13, 2015.


    The audience attending the seminar were diverse and interactive during discussions on feminism, race relations and the creative process of writing and performing rap music. Dessa is a member of the indie hip hop collective Doomtree. She spoke on the ethnic and cultural differences between the members of the group, and thought those differences to be part of their strength.


    Dessa who attended the University of Minnesota, where she earned a B.A. in philosophy, before becoming a full-time artist.


    She doesn't write or sing as a form of therapy because she thinks that’s what friends and therapists are there for. She considers firstly as an artist and then an activist. She knows what it feels like to be exposed to sexual and racial discrimination. Dessa prefers to only share personal information when doing so seems to be in the service of a promising song or essay.


    Dessa has appeared on numerous Doomtree albums, as well as on the other members' solo albums. Her debut solo EP, False Hopes, was released in 2005. She completed and released a book of creative non-fiction titled Spiral Bound. Dessa's first solo album, A Badly Broken Code, was released in 2010. In 2011, she released Castor, the Twin, and in 2013, released Parts of Speech.


    Hip hop music consists of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping, a rhythmic and rhyming speech that is chanted. It has been performed since the 1970s, and particularly among African American youth residing in the Bronx, New York. It is a populous form of art and expression whether by the people of for the people.

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