With an album just completed and a special performance at Howard University’s Homecoming last month, Dana Dane gave his thoughts on the recent VH1 tribute to hip-hop and spoke on the future of the industry.
Performing their classic hits, hip-hop pioneers Sweet Tee, Special Ed, Whodini, Grandmaster Melle Mel and Scorpio and Busy Bee were among the many artists reunited at Howard University’s famous Homecoming.
These artists were also among the many who, according to Dane, did not receive their proper dues from “VH1 Hip-Hop Honors,” a special show marking hip-hop’s 30th anniversary
with tributes and live performances.
While the VH1 special highlighted recognized hip-hop icons like Run DMC and Public Enemy, Dane said it neglected other legendary artists including
himself, who also had a handin shaping hip-hop’s identity and who were present at the show.
“Some of the artists who were there, they did not give cameos to,” Dane told HU’s The Hilltop. “The documentary was powered by the powers that be. There were people that were interviewed and some who were missed.”
Dane added however, that gathering every renowned figure in hip-hop would have been unfeasible.
“It [would] be impossible to get everyone in the hip-hop industry on one show,” Dane continued. “Not one book, show or concert will be able to get everybody.”
Dane also welcomed the prospect of a concert merging old school acts with present artists like Jay-Z or P. Diddy.
“Doug E. Fresh and Slick [Rick] have been involved with doing concerts with the new-school artists,” said Dane. “So if the opportunity was there I would be glad to do it.”
According to Dane, the music industry is returning to the days when artists produced and distributed albums on their own, as evidenced by record companies like Def Jam and Roc-A-Fella, created and owned by hip-hop entrepreneurs
Russell Simmons and Damon Dash.
“When we started we had to produce our records independently because the major record labels were not interested in us like that,” said Dane. “Now major record labels are interested but they either have already signed their artists, or we know better and won't take what they are giving us and demand much more.”
Dane’s new album, yet to be officially released, features 18 independent artists and is produced by Mark "Boogie" Brown, RZA of the WuTang Clan, Kwame and Fresh Gordan.
The album is currently available on Dane’s website danadane.com.