Desdamona is a hip-hop and spoken word artist from Minneapolis, Minnesota She has won five Minnesota Music Awards for ‘Best Spoken Word Artist’ in the years 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006 and is considered to be the best female spoken word and hip-hop artist in the Midwest.
Her emcee name, comes from Desdemona, the wife of Othello in William Shakespeare‘s tragedy Othello. She was born and went to school in Iowa. A childhood inspiration for her music, she said, was her father who would dress up as Count Dracula and tell bedtime stories to her.
In college, Desdamona and her friends formed a band in which Desdamona was the rapper, inspired by the R&B group TLC. The group performed around Waterloo, Iowa and had a few shows in Iowa City. When she moved to Minneapolis, she found an audience for her work. She began to go to open mic nights to perform her poetry. In this way, she became known as a spoken word artist, which was not her original intention, but which, she says, “made me a better writer.”
Desdamona was noticed for her guest vocals in Brother Ali‘s We Will Always B in 2000. Her lines criticized male dominance of hip-hop and chauvinism in general. This led to her first CD, The Ledge, which came out in June 2005.
Desdamona frequently collaborates with Twin Cities beatboxer Carnage the Executioner, also known as Carnage. On Desdamona’s second disc, The Source, which came out 26 June 2007, the duo do the first track, Infinity, together.The two have formed a group called Ill Chemistry, which was noted as a rising hip-hop group at the 2007 Minnesota Music Awards. Desdamona has noted that they’re working on a collaboration on her blog.
Desdamona co-founded an female based music festival, called B-Girl Be, which incorporates all the aspects of hip-hop and spoken word; emceeing, break dance, D.J.-ing and graffiti. She also works with schools, teaching students, as well as in the Stillwater Prison program, In the Belly.
In 2010, Desdamona was invited by Ursus Minor to sing on their third album “I will not take but for an answer” and also did the 21010 Ursus Minor October and August French Tours along with Boots Riley.
Desdamona “The Comeback”
Desdamona “The Source”
Desdamona ‘I Don’t Stop’
Desdamona “Get By”