Dessa Mixes Craft and Rap in New "5 Out of 6" Video

Dessa Mixes Craft and Rap in New "5 Out of 6" Video

Fans made the artwork for the Doomtree star's latest lyric video.



Bill Phelps

Digital animators have long dominated the genre of lyric videos (music videos that artfully display the words to a song) but, as craft enthusiasts know, they’re not the only ones with a talent for rendering words in visually striking ways. For her song “5 out of 6” off of her new solo album Chime, Minneapolis writer, emcee, and Doomtree member Dessa took an outside-the-box approach to the lyric video format, inviting fans from around the world to pitch in. We're excited to share the world premiere of the new video right here.

“Every so often, a listener will send me an image of something they’ve sewn, drawn, or painted that features one of my lyrics,” she says of the inspiration behind the video. Always flattered and impressed by these handmade works of art, she thought it would be fun to invite fans to make pieces for a new lyric video. “Also, it’s satisfying to see aggressive rap lyrics rendered in meticulous cross-stitch,” she adds.

Embroidery of "5 out of 6" lyrics by Lauren Yates

"5 out of 6" lyrics embroidered by Lauren Yates. Photo: Courtesy of the artist 

Last February, Dessa put out a call on social media asking fans to depict a line or two from the song in materials ranging from chalk to yarn to cake frosting. More than 200 submissions were received. A crew of dedicated collaborators then did their best to narrow the section down to more than 60 images spanning as many disciplines as possible. Dessa notes that many fans “did incredible work with frosting” due to her well-known “special weakness for dessert art,” but only a few were included to leave enough room for embroidery, sculptural work, photography, and more.

Seed art of "5 out of 6" lyrics by Christy Klancher.

Seed art of "5 out of 6" lyrics by Christy Klancher. Photo: Courtesy of the artist 

Filmmaker Adam Dunn cleverly wove the images together, and Becky Hoffmann headed up the organization and curatorial process with assistance from Asa Krause and some of Dessa’s Doomtree cohorts. But Dessa says her biggest collaborators on the project were her fans. “I’m lucky enough to have a pretty engaged, kind-hearted, and talented community of listeners,” she says.