Rap artists have been stretching the genre’s boundaries and putting their own spins on the beats.
Dessa is an experimental rapper from Minnesota who’s taking the genre to a whole new dimension.
The spoken-word artist/author isn’t afraid to add unique elements to her rhymes, and her new CD, A Badly Broken Code, is creating a buzz. Dessa will be showing off her new music at the Marquis Theatre in Denver on Friday.
Who: P.O.S., with Grieves and Dessa
When: 8 p.m. Friday
Where: Marquis Theater, 2009 Larimer St., Denver
Dessa is better known as Margret Wander and she’s a member of Minnesota’s Doomtree Collective. The hip-hop group is a big musical family that creates innovative CDs and creative projects.
“I’m a member of the Doomtree rap collective, but we all have solo careers,” Wander said. “I started off writing poems for poetry slams — I even qualified for the Minnesota slam team. That’s where I cut my teeth, and from there I moved onto hip-hop.”
“Doomtree is a hybrid of a production company, street gang and record label. I put out a book of creative fiction through the group — it puts out whatever we make.”
The collective let Wander develop her signature brand of rap.
“There are all kinds of elements in my music,” Wander said. “It’s got experimental pop, R&B and hip-hop. It would be a challenge for a major label to put this music out.
“I like to use all kinds of vocal harmonics; there’s some a cappella, jazz and straight-ahead hip-hop. I also like to have real character development and narrative in my lyrics. I’m pretty excited about the new material.”
Trevor Hall’s fans are intrigued with his fusion of reggae and rock grooves, and the depth of his lyrical messages has touched them.
You can groove and get enlightened to this artist’s tunes. That’s why locals will be heading down to Denver to catch Hall’s Saturday show at the Bluebird Theater.
The young performer already has collaborated with Matisyahu on the song “Unity,” and Hall’s been enticing listeners with his latest self-titled record.
“I always want my music to have a spiritual vibe and message,” Hall said. “My songs are positive and they have good vibes.
“I just came back from India and I’m going to start working on my new record. There’s so much to draw from there — I saw all the poverty and death, but also the beauty of life. I’ll be able to draw from those experiences when I head back into the studio.”
The Entrance Band
The Entrance Band is a three-piece rock outfit that isn’t afraid to cross genre lines.
The power trio got started in Los Angeles, where it gained a solid reputation for its eclectic fusion of sounds. Anything from punk to psychedelic rock is fair game with the Entrance Band.
Monday, locals can check out the Entrance Band’s rock moves at the hi-dive in Denver.
“Our band has a lot of different styles and influences,” bandleader Guy Blakeslee said. “We all have individual styles, but when we come together its very cool collaboration. Plus, being in a three-piece really challenges all of us to fill in the spaces.
“We’re on Thurston Moore from Sonic Youth’s label (Ecstatic Peace). We’ve had the chance to tour with Sonic Youth and it’s an honor to work with him. His label is part of Universal Motown, so it’s like being on an indie label with the drive of a major label.”
Here’s some more Entrance Band trivia: Bassist Paz Lenchantin has performed and recorded with Billy Corgan’s Zwan, A Perfect Circle and Jenny Lewis.
This band has some very cool pedigrees.