Dana Dane

Dana Dane with Fame

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Rap was many things in the '80s: sociopolitical, cutting-edge, innovative, in-your-face, insightful, angry, thought-provoking, intellectual, entertaining, funny, crude, and so on. Eighties rap could describe tragic social conditions (Ice-T's "Colors," Grandmaster Flash's "The Message") or it could be unapologetically silly (Biz Markie's "Pickin' Boogers"). Rapping with a fake British accent, Dana Dane represented the goofier side of '80s rap. Dana Dane With Fame, the New Yorker's debut album, is a classic of its kind. Occasionally, this 1987 release touches on social issues, but for the most part, Dana Dane With Fame (which was produced by Hurby Luv Bug) doesn't take itself too seriously. Dane's greatest asset is his sense of humor, and the East Coast MC is wildly entertaining on goofy, nutty items like "Nightmares," "Love at First Sight," and the hit single "Cinderfella Dana Dane." But while social commentary isn't the CD's main focus, Dane isn't oblivious to the social problems that plague a major city like New York. On "Delancey Street" (another major hit), Dane raps about three women trying to rob him at gunpoint on Manhattan's Lower East Side. The dark-humored tune manages to be funny and disturbing at the same time; even when he's rapping about urban crime, Dane maintains the silliness that made him so endearing. "Delancey Street" was a song that New Yorkers had no problem relating to in the '80s; back then, the area of Delancey Street near the Williamsburg Bridge was infamous for its high crime rate (although much of Manhattan's Lower East Side became a lot safer in the '90s, thanks to Mayor Rudy Giuliani's war on crime). Dana Dane With Fame isn't the MC's only worthwhile album, but it is definitely his best and most essential.

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