This is one question you will never hear uttered from a true Hip-Hop head…who is Dana Dane? Dane is a hip-hop icon, a legend. His entry into the music industry changed the face of hip-hop and how rap was and is perceived today. He is the Kangol sporting, Designer frame wearing, rapper, entertainer, storytelling, poet…Master of Ceremonies. Humble in all his flamboyance, considerate in all his arrogance, the perfect contradiction. Dana has been blessed with the gift and skill to narrate his life into amusing anecdotes as well as create tall tales in rhyme form that would make Langston Hughes and Mark Twain envious. Dana says," I take pride in writing stories that have chronological depth as well as moral value, while entertaining the masses". This is most evident on his classic debut album Dana Dane with Fame and his third release Rollin with Dana Dane.
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Dana Dane acquired his fledgling fame from rocking lunchroom routines, project stairway concerts and park jams. "It was the early 80’s when I first got into hip-hop and being a MC/rapper. I had heard cats at street jams, block parties and house parties getting the crowd hyped with rhythmic lyrics with a bravado overtone…man, I was hooked. Then I started hearing hip-hop on wax and radio, The Sugar Hill Gang, Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five, the Crash Crew, RUN-DMC and Whodini!
That was it! By now any structure I could extract a relatively good sounding beat from… I would… and flows would erupt. I created drum rhythms pounding on the side of the refrigerator, on the kitchen and bathroom sinks in our two-bedroom apartment, on the 1st floor of 79 North Oxford Walk. On the subway train and bus seats, window and doors… and my lyrics…fluid, creating rhythms with my hands, with drops on point while one foot thumped the floor! Now that’s the origin of a hip-hopper in one of its rawest forms" Dane exudes. Who could argue with him.
A New York City native, raised in the unpredictable Walt Whitman project houses in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, Dana has always been known to do his own thing. From his profile, to his dress style, his uniqueness is abundantly apparent. Dane posses a remarkable cadence of positive energy that makes him readily accepted in all circles. The Brooklyn poet credits his mother, Nora Olivia McCleese (Ms. Livy to all the kids that grew up with me in the projects) with the unwavering love and predetermined resolve, that would will her son into the man the world has come to know, love and respect. From all the negativity born and cultivated in the ghetto, a young mind as unshaped as coal, evolves into a world class diamond… DANA DANE.
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