Zugleich Rapperin und Autorin, Musikerin und Essayistin, hat sich Dessa in den letzten Jahren einen ganz eigenen Platz in der Musikwelt geschaffen: Rap, Pop-Hooks, Spoken Word und autobiografische Poesie kommen in ihrem Ansatz zusammen, den sie nun zum vierten Mal auf Albumlänge präsentiert – der neue Longplayer erscheint am 23. Februar 2018 und der einflussreiche Sender NPR hat „Chime“  erst kürzlich als eines ihrer „hotly anticipated albums“  fürs Jahr 2018 bezeichnet.

Die Singleauskopplung ‚Fire Drills‘,  zu der heute ein Lyric-Video erscheint, basiert auf einem iPhone-Audiomitschnitt, den Dessa in der Türkei gemacht hat. Inhaltlich widmet sie ihre Analyse dem Phänomen, dass Mädchen und Frauen noch immer viel zu häufig geraten wird, sich vor den Gefahren der Welt in Acht zu nehmen – anstatt sie dazu zu ermutigen, sich unerschrocken einen eigenen Platz in dieser Welt zu erschaffen:


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Dessa über den Song ‚Fire Drills‘:

You can’t really grant someone else access to your experience. You only get one mind and it lives in your one body for your whole life. So it’s only by trading notes with other people that you start to puzzle out a more complete impression of what it’s like to be human. In our culture, we’re trading a lot of notes on what it’s like to be a woman.
I’m a careful participant in conversations about gender politics. Often, I think my music and my writing make a more compelling case than an abstract argument would. I just try to live a brave life and let that make its own statement about women’s place in the world.
I’ve been thinking lately, though, that some parts of women’s experience might be difficult to perceive—even by women ourselves—unless they’re stated explicitly. Specifically, I’ve been thinking about innocence and vigilance. Around most of the world, we’ve sanctified the former and mandated the later. In doing so, we stress the importance of what doesn’t happen in a woman’s life.
This is not the formulation to foster bold ambitions.


I’ve been Wendy
living with the Lost Boys
youth spent as a deckhand on the convoy
moved every night to prove we were something
got confused if it was from or to that we were running.
I’ve seen Gibraltar
I’ve seen the Taj Mahal
Soweto, Haga Sofia
Chefchaouen paints their walls blue
I’ve played to full rooms
I’ve played the fool too
burning through the bottoms of a pair of new boots
Cut my hair
tape my tits down
A woman on her own must be from out of town
funny, you don’t know the concessions that you’re making until you catalog em
and by then they’re many and you’re battle-hardened.
Heat makes liquid of the asphalt
keepsakes and parking tickets on the dashboard
I’m here to file my report as the vixen of the wolf pack;
tell Patient Zero, he can have his rib back.

You can count my ribs
Wanna know what class I’m in—
Count my,
You can count my ribs.
You can’t be too broke to break
as a woman
Always something left to take
so you shouldn’t
try to stay too late or talk to strangers
look too long, go too far out of range cause
angels can’t watch everybody all the time
stay close, hems low, safe inside;
that formula works if you can live it
but it works by putting half the world off limits.


We don’t say, Go out and be brave
nah, we say Be careful, stay safe
in any given instance, that don’t hurt
but it sinks in like stilettos in soft earth,
like the big win is a day without an incident
I beg to differ with it
I think a woman’s worth
I think that she deserves
a better line of work
than motherfucking vigilance.
Don’t give me vigilance
by definition
you can’t make a difference
if the big ambition
is simply standing sentry to your innocence
that’s not a way to live
that can’t be what a woman is
that gives her nothing to aspire to.
What that is—
what that is
is just a life of running fire drills.

We’re runnin fire drills.

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