[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Dessa_byisaacgale36_605.jpg]]


-->''But I've learned how to paint my face,\\
How to earn my keep, how to clean my kill.\\
Some nights I still can't sleep,\\
The past rolls back, I can see us still.\\
You've learned how to hold your own, how to stack your stones,\\
But the history's thick.\\
Children aren't as simple as we'd like to think.''
-->--"Children's Work"


Dessa (born Margret Wander) is an underground singer and hip-hop artist from Minneapolis, Minnesota and part of the indie hip-hop group Doomtree. Her lyrics vary from sharp and cutting to poetic and narrative. She is known for the feminist themes in several of her songs and has been described as a mix of Mos Def and Music/AniDiFranco.


Discography:
* 2005 - ''False Hopes''
* 2010 - ''A Badly Broken Code''
* 2011 - ''Castor, The Twin''
* 2013 - ''Parts of Speech''
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!!Her work provides examples of:
* AgeProgressionSong: "Children's Work" and "The Chaconne".
* AllGirlsWantBadBoys: Deconstructed in "Alibi", where the narrator is soothing a woman whose husband broke the law.
* AllTakeAndNoGive: A version with the giver as the controller in the relationship is the theme of "Seamstress"; it's implied to be stemming from a combination of a need to be needed and a fear of abandonment.
-->''Fixing up boys is different that way;\\
You fix a bird, you buy a cage''
* BadassBoast: The entirety of "Dutch", "The Bullpen", "Skeleton Key" and "Fighting Fish" is one.
** "Crew" has one about her music skills partway through, "If the hinges creak, then break the door down / All I need is a beat, I break a four-count".
* BadassCreed: "Seamstress". The creed of the seamstress is "you're pretty in pieces".
* TheCaretaker: "Seamstress" is a dark take on this.
-->''Plus, I never did need for a pattern\\
Just some good restraints and my bedside manner.''
* TheCharmer: The narrator of "Dear Marie"; "that charm of mine was easy to abuse".
* CoolBigSis: "Children's Work" was written for her younger brother Max.
* CloudcuckoolandersMinder: "Children's Work": "The little mystic, and his handler."
** "Anabelle" has her pleading the song's title character to 'come back down'
** "The Man I Knew" is a song about a decade-long relationship with a drug addict.
* DomesticAbuse: What the narator finds out is going on in "Dixon's Girl"- "You gotta be big to treat pretty girls bad".
* DrowningMySorrows: Said by name in "Seamstress" and a theme touched on in multiple songs (including "Mineshaft 2" and "The Man I Knew"), coming from Dessa's own struggles with alcoholism.
* EasilyForgiven: Averted hugely in "Mineshaft 2" and "The Lamb".
* FramingDevice: "Dear Marie" is a letter the narrator is writing to Marie.
* FriendlessBackground: Implied in "Children's Work": "Before you came along, I was a lone cub."
* HeelRealization: "Dear Marie" is about a woman who realizes for the first time how much she's hurt her loyal friend Marie, and writes a letter apologizing.
* IronicEcho: In "Dear Marie", the narrator says that Marie warns her "that charm of mine was easy to abuse"; later, after the narrator has her HeelRealization about how badly she's treated Marie, Marie says "that charm of mine was to refuse".
* TheMasochismTango: "Matches to Paper Dolls", which is about a couple who are too attached/attracted to each other to leave even though the relationship hurts both of them.
* MotorMouth: When Dessa ''really'' gets into rap-mode, she's scarily quick with her rhymes. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35SAEUbdUQE For example, "Matches to Paper Dolls"]], [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Qe3jruM9pg "Mineshaft"]], and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tvSaALk-wc "Press On"]].
* MyFutureSelfAndMe: The narrator visits her past self to ask for a favor in "Mineshaft 2".
* NeverASelfMadeWoman: Mentioned in "Dixon's Girl". Currently the page quote.
* SanitySlippage: "If & When" has the narrator burning more and more things to keep the candle alight as she waits for her husband to come home.
* SecondPersonNarration: "Mineshalf 2", although it switches to first person in the last verse
* SecretKeeper: A dark version in "The Lamb", where it's implied the narrator covered up a murder for her acquaintance.
* SequelSong: "Mineshaft" released on ''Castor, the Twin'' deals with a painful break-up. "Mineshaft 2" dealt with the ex calling her up years later and asking for forgiveness.
* {{Shoutout}}: The chorus of "Everything Floats" (which the title is derived from) is a line from ''Literature/{{It}}''.
* TheSmurfettePrinciple: "The Bullpen", with the narrator channeling Dessa's experiences in the hip-hop scene.
* TakeMeInstead: From "Children's Work": "When the wagon tipped, I prayed over your body. I asked God to take the damage out on me."
* TrueCompanions: "Crew", which is about her group Doomtree, along with most of her collaborative works with other Doomtree members.
** From "Alibi": "If you ever need a place to sleep tonight, that's what family's for."
* {{UST}}: "Go Home" is about the narrator and a close friend struggling with the feelings that have grown between them.
* WeAreAsMayflies: The central theme of "Momento Mori".
* WidowWoman: "If & When".
* WiseBeyondTheirYears: The entirety of "Children's Work", with both the narrator and her little brother being wise in differnt ways: "Children aren't as simple as we'd like to think."
* YourCheatingHeart: Subverted in "Go Home", where the narrator persuades him to "go home to her, while you still can".