There isn’t much local music fans don’t know about Dessa.
As one of the most endeared Twin Cities musicians of all time, Dessa is a constant fixture. You see her flex on a banner outside the YWCA. You eat her locally made artisan ice cream. You wear her vegan lipstick. You watch her tear down First Ave whenever Doomtree is in town. But there’s still a whole country out there largely ignorant to the multitudinal charms of the Minnesota everywoman.
Yesterday, Forbes did its part to change that, running a lengthy profile on Dessa and her numerous social, business, and artistic accomplishments. The profile is time-pegged to Dessa’s recent appearance at the Mayo Clinic’s "Transform" conference on September 15. Apparently Forbes writer Tori Utley left Dessa’s session feeling compelled to share the real-life Margaret Wander’s journey from part-time rapper to full-time local icon.
“Beyond her success in the music industry, Dessa’s road to entrepreneurship has taken form in more ways than her music career and record label leadership position – that of a social entrepreneur,” Utley writes, before getting into a laundry list of the emcee’s accolades. “Dessa has set out to make an impact in as many ways as she can, through her music or otherwise.”
Despite the fact that there’s a typo right in the damn headline (*35-year-old), the piece is a fascinating, well-written read. By framing Dessa not as the rambunctious rapper you sometimes see selling clothes at Buffalo Exchange but as a focused, fierce visionary, a whole new appreciation is gleaned. This is how people with no neighborly obligation to love Dessa show their appreciation.
But, if you don’t like having your Dessa newsbites hidden behind obtuse John D. Rockefeller quotes and incessant survey offers (Editor's note: Forbes has an awful website for a high-powered financial news outlet), Dessa gives her take-home message in this quote to Utley:
“Make your own coffee. Take the bus. When you’re just starting out, every hour that you have to spend grinding at a day job is time you take away spending on your craft. Live a life that is inexpensive and keep your time to yourself.”
Check out the full thing for more self-reliant platitudes and insights into the world of your friendly neighborhood rapper/entrepreneur/overall inspiration.