18 August 2019

"Dana Dane with Fame" by Dana Dane (1987)

Dana Dane with Fame is the title song off of Dana Dane's debut album, which was released by Profile Records on 22 May 1987.  A friend of mine was recently enjoying the track, so I decided to do a bit of research on it.

A picture of Dana Dane taken in 2005.  At the time he would have been about 40-years old.


Dana Dane is an old-school rapper, whom I think it's safe to say that few of the new generation of hip-hop fans are familiar with.  In fact he is considered to be the first-solo rapper from Brooklyn to really blow up.

He used to run with his better-known partner, Slick Rick, as part of the Kangol Crew.  Indeed fans of these two artists have noticed that their styles are quite similar, with Dane even being recognized as a protege of Rick's.

The cover to Dana Dane's 2009 novel, Numbers.
Despite apparently falling out of the rap game a while back, Dana Dane has been busy in other endeavors, such as writing a deadass novel back in 2009 which, according to Amazon and Goodreads, isn't half bad.


Dana Dane with Fame is your standard braggadocio rap song - 1980's style.  For instance instead of Dane calling his opps punks or some even less-flattering appellation, he says "they're ultra-defeated".  Also he doesn't threaten them with gun violence but instead more along the lines of showing them up on the mic.  Moreover, just like his modern-day counterparts, Dane does get quite-risque, considering the era, when talking about women, making references to ideologies such as 'massaging female butts' and 'caressing their chests'.

At one point the track's producer, Hurby Luv Bug, has to interject to prevent him from saying the word 'ass' whilst dissing rival emcees.  But even at this juncture, Dane lets it be known that soon the day will come when lyrically he will unhinged.

The cover of Dana Dane's debut album, Dana Dane with Fame.

As alluded to earlier, a good portion of the song is about the rapper's interactions with women.  In the first verse Dane gives tips - though once again using Puritan verbiage compared to today's norms - on how to sexually satisfy a lady.  And the third verse features Dane detailing a sexual experience he had with a woman whom he apparently had just met, complete with a climax which I'm confident would be considered racist against Southeast Asians in this day and age.

The song in its entirety is basically the rapper presenting himself as famous, even internationally-known.  Again this song is off of his debut album, and back in those days mixtapes were not part of the mainstream industry.  That means for the most part that he wasn't actually famous (outside of the the then 'hood-based rap industry), and what this song actually represents is an exercise in positivity thinking.  What it is all meant to ultimately boil down to is Dana Dane considering himself one of the dopest MCs in the rap game.


I couldn't find writing credits for this song.  But since it is from a day when ghostwriters were more or less nonexistent, we can presume it was by and large penned by Dana Dane himself.

It is very possible that Hurby Luv Bug made some lyrical contributions to the song, considering that he also had a hand in writing other rap hits he helped create, such as Salt-N-Pepa's Push It which also came out in 1987, when the Luv Bug was at his peak.

Dana Dane and his homey, Slick Rick, in 2005.

Content wise this the same as any other similar-themed rap you'd hear on the radio these days, devoid of the overt references to gun violence, intoxication and wealth.  It basically feature Dana Dane bigging up himself and 'entertaining' the audience with sexually-graphic lyrics.

But for every rapper from the 1980's who has been able to go Hollywood, there are 100 others who have since disappeared into relative obscurity, like Dana Dane.  But throughout the years he has apparently remained active in the entertainment field in a number of different endeavors.

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