Former Marine Matt Victoriano is being recognized as a "Champion of Change" at the White House.
Thirty year-old Dessa has been making waves, both as a solo artist and as a member of the Minnesota hip-hop collective Doomtree.
Her 2010 CD “A Badly Broken Code” was critically acclaimed and she just released her latest release “Castor The Twin.”
Dessa doesn’t fit the typical mold of a rap artist- she’s white, female and from Minnesota.
“At the beginning of my career I worried about it a lot. I wanted to make sure that I seemed credible… that I was paying the respect that’s due to the music that was largely innovated by another culture set. And then, ten years in, you worry about, ‘is this song good.,” Dessa told Here & Now’s Robin Young.
Dessa also says that female hip-hop tends to either try to outdo male hip-hop in misogyny or puts women on a pedestal, and that neither of those alternatives appeal to her.
She says she doesn’t want to confine herself to rap, she sings on both of her CDs. A former student of philosophy at the University of Minnesota, Dessa finds that music gives her a wider audience than academia.