A Badly Broken Code
Label: Doomtree Records
Like many spoken-word artists-turned-rappers, Dessa makes music that can't be easily pegged as hip-hop. Instead, A Badly Broken Code has a wintry, quiet tone reminiscent of mid-'90s trip-hop, and she spends more time spinning free verse in a singsong voice than flipping rhymes ("Crew," a tribute to her Doomtree crew, is a notable exception). Her songs -- mostly about friendships, romance and introspection -- can seem precious at times, but she has a wry sensibility that keeps them from becoming self-indulgent. If you have an hour, Dessa can entertain you with a few personal stories.