Dessa is in the studio

Dessa is in the studio this morning for our Friday Roundtable. Looking great as always in the MPR News green room:


Photo by Stephanie Curtis

Emily Kaiser, digital producer

  • John

    Hang in there, Dessa. I’m a gray-haired white guy only peripherally familiar with rap and I’m impressed by your on-point and cogent questions and. Even on MPR and on a woman-led show I detect a wiff of good old guy in the way your ideas have been taken. They are not dismissing you, though. So, hang in there and, being who you are, everyone will have to listen.

    Question. My daughter has told me there is a difference between rap and hip-hop, with hip-hop being more culturally positive. Is there a difference and how should it be described.


  • suzanna munns

    Dear Kerri,

    Please refer to my previous post regarding your show earlier in the week on the branding and rebranding of teachers. One of your guests on the Friday Roundtable is telling you that reporters need to go more in depth on ISSUES instead of simply reporting “He said, she said.” It is my opinion that you need to follow his advice on your shows. I would be very happy to hear guests discuss the complicated issues of our society. In the type of show I am suggesting, it is my opinion that it would be your job to already know the issues from your own in depth research so that you would find your guests through the research that you would have done. This would not be easy to do, and it would take a lot more time and staff. I think you would finally see how complicated professional behavior can be, and might serve to help you become a better reporter and host. As a result of your having had to grapple with complicated issues, you might even, eventually, understand and report my own profession of teaching in a way that your listeners can get closer to the actual work of teachers in your future shows instead having your listeners going away with the same old superficial sound bites that reinforce the “same old, same old” that you are feeding them now. I wish you good luck!

  • Christin

    This response is directed at John’s question about rap vs. hip hop. Hip hop is a culture with 4 elements: DJing, breaking, writing/graffiti, and emceeing (rapping). Therefore, hip hop and rap are not two different things; rap is a component of hip hop. Many people like to make a differentiation between rap and hip hop in the way that your daughter is describing. I see that differentiation as a result of several factors; diffences of style within the genre, conflicts surrounding lyrics/message (such as the misogyny found in some songs versus the “conscious” rap), and white privilige, to name a few. This debate comes up within the hip hop community and on social networks fairly often. I think it is a healthy conversation to have, as it tends to lead to discussion of all sorts of issues facing our society and community.

  • Jamie

    I didn’t like what Dessa said about the guy who does hateful lyrics but oh, he’s such a funny, charismatic guy so she thinks he must be ok! For one thing, Hitler was, and lots of other unsavory people are, charismatic; I don’t see why that is a redeeming thing. Also, if you sing or rap misogyny, that likely pervades your life and your attitudes about women in real life. There is nothing that can redeem that, except for changing your attitudes (which doesn’t happen very often from what I’ve heard).