Dana Dane – Dana Dane with Fame

dana-dane-with-fame-back-n-the-day-buffet-1Dana Dane released his debut album “Dana Dane with Fame” on May 22, 1987. The album was produced by Hurby Luv Bug and released on Profile Records.

Dana Dane started his career rapping as part of the Kangol Crew with Slick Rick.  They both sound the same especially with their British accents, but we are quick to forget that Dana is not British.  But as soon as we heard “Cinderfella Dana Dane” we would never make that mistake again.

The first time I heard “Cinderfella Dana Dane” was on KDAY in Los Angeles and as soon as the beat comes in, I knew I was going to love this track.  The song samples the funk track “Dazz” by Brick, so you knew the west coast was going to love it just for the beat itself.  The song is mad clever as Dana reworks the “Cinderella” story and makes it into one of the greatest stories put on wax.

Once upon a time, Brooklyn was the scene
In the project that they called Fort Greene
There lived a young man, Cinderfella’s his name
To make it interesting it’s me, Dana Dane
I lived in a house with my cruel step-dad
And two step-brothers who treated me bad
I cooked, I cleaned, I scrubbed the floors
And I was like an errand boy runnin’ to the store
My brothers, they used to boast and brag:
“We’ve got fresh gear and you’ve got rags!”
Even worse than that, to make me feel low
They gave me a straw hat, while they had Kangols
Girls used to say, “Dane, you’re so cute
But you gets no rap with them polyester suits”

Dana was a great storyteller and almost every song on this album tells a story.  On the track “Nightmares” he goes to see a female psychiatrist to talk about his recurring nightmare.  It was the first time we got to meat “Anita the Beast“.

Now this other female, her name was Denise
Couldn’t get no rapture, there followed the beast
Everywhere I turn, everywhere I look
There was Anita the beast, she could not be shook
I dipped, I dived, I ran, I thrived
But there was no place that I could hide
Cause she was sniffin me out like a hungry blood hound
Her tail in the air, her nose to the ground
Only thing left for me to do
Was to set her up with this other dude
Now this other dude, he was real upset
Cause this ugly female he didn’t wanna check
He started actin wild, even called me a faggot
What could I do, he had a .22 automatic
I dipped into the crowd, made my way to the door
Bumped into this object and I hit the floor
When I looked up, what did I see?
I saw Anita the Beast lookin down at me
I couldn’t try to play it, couldn’t try to pretend
Like the AFTCA I had to take the dog in

The title track “Dana Dane with Fame” uses the drum beat from “Impeach the President” by The Honey Drippers to tell tales about his sexual conquests and how irresistible he is to the ladies.  He even raps in Japanese when he says, “CHOI YOI YOI YOI YOI YOING“, which means…wait…that’s just gibberish.  It’s absolutely hilarious and a tad bit racist, but it was the 80’s so he get’s a pass!  This track was my favorite and I bet my parents where sick of hearing it after 50 times played in a day!

More than a many people I did astound
With a master rap and a different sound
Now I am established and world renowned
And no one out there can put me down
Sucker MCs they’re on an ego trip
They’re blabbing off with their mouths
They’re running off with their lips
But they all are bound to take a fall
And all of them can kiss my …
[Hurby]: You Dana, cool out man
[Dana]: Okay, I’ll behave
But only this time y’all have been saved
Cause I came here just as simple and plain
To get on the mic and to entertain
For a few minutes I was thrown off track
But I’ve regained my composer and now I’m back
To give all you party people what you’re waiting for
To see what def rap I have in store

Now, every rapper in the mid 80’s had a love song on their album.  Dana had a dope fly love song with “Love At First Sight” where Dana meets a girl on the street and immediately falls in love with her.  The hook had me singing it in my sleep.

Love at first sight
Is it forever or fly by night?
Love at first sight
Who’s to say it’s wrong or right?

The track samples “Seven Minutes of Funk” by The Whole Darn Family which is the same beat EPMD used for “It’s My Thing” but slowed down considerably.  The song ends on a sour note since the girl he met on the street and had “relations” with stood him up on their “first date”.  Being that it was the final track on the album, it was a perfect way to close the album.

As I sat on the couch staring into time
Well, I had her number and she had mine
But if she really wanted me she would have dropped me a line
But day after day and weeks went by
But she didn’t call even to say, “Hi”
I would have called her first, but I’ve got my pride
“And I really don’t care”, to myself I lied
Now, there was no reason for me to be sad
Just remember that good time that we had
‘Cause I learned a little something that you should know
To keep some things you got to let them go
Well, you wouldn’t understand, well maybe you might
I guess you would call it love at first sight

DJ Clark Kent was his Dane’s DJ back in the day and get’s props on this track!  The magic on the beat is that The Jackson guitar sample of “Enjoy Yourself“.  The beat and rhymes are infectious and will make you get on your feet and dance.  All thanks to his super-producer Hurby Luv Bug Azor!

The beat is bad, getting badder
On the way up the ladder
“The Beat Is Dope” is the neighborhood chatter
You might think the record would be hard core
But I’m here to tell you it’s much much more
A combination of rap, rhythm and blues
And a swinging beat that you can’t refuse
Some call it slick, others say it’s jammin
Clark heard the beat and said, “Yo, it’s slammin!”
Crashing through your speakers like a wild stampede
With enough base to make your eardrums bleed
And just when you thought it’s just a beat
The music line come in for a extra treat
It dropped on point smooth but also crisp
The producer Hurby just has that gift
Now on the microphone a voice that you can trust
Yes me, Dane, kicking it from dawn to dusk

Lastly, “Delancey Street” is a story about Dana going shopping at Delancey Street only to get robbed by three fly females.  I remember hearing DJ’s scratch up the intro to this song where the subway conductor says,

Next stop: Delancey Street
Step lively, and ah – watch the closing doors

This thing about Dane being so hot that girls will stop him to rape him becomes a common theme.  In this case a pack of hot females want to rob him of his clothes and jewels but when they find out who he is, they fight each other to get him.   Dana was the ultimate Casanova, well at least in his eyes!

Three fresh females, who would have thought
Cause they tried to rob me, I almost got caught
I stood there for a minute, tried to concentrate
I tried to think of a way for me to escape
No one in sight, one thing to do
(You mean you ran, Dana Dane?) Damn right I flew
Up the block and through an alley
Yo, I cold dogged my fresh new Bally’s
I ran through some water and some dog –
But I don’t give a damn, I wouldn’t be their vic’
Oh no, not me, not while I had feet
So then I dipped over to Orchard Street
Around the corner, past the brick house
And right in back of me, droolin from the mouth
Yes, them three females in hot pursuit
Then all of a sudden they began to shoot
I flundered, blundred, all the shots thundered
(Where did you run?) That’s what I wondered
So confused, my head still in the wind
A sign up the street that read (dead end)

After all this time, this album is still fresh, dope and slammin!  I can take this cd, put it in the car and let it go without pressing the skip button.  The stories are funny and intriguing and of course funky enough to blast them way past 10!  This is one of those albums that made your childhood that much more memorable!

-Al E.

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