Classic hip-hopper, Dana Dane, has transformed his lyrics into new paperback banger, NUMBERS, presented by the Queen on hip-hop fiction, Nikkie Turner. A storyteller at heart and wordsmith like no other, Dane continues to share his experiences and thoroughly entertain readers in this 256 page-turning, inspiring urban fairytale.
Is NUMBERS fiction or non-fiction?
Numbers is fiction. I wrote a previous book called Hip-Hop Sales, where I took all my previous rhymes and converted them into short stories. I took one of those short stories about a young hustler and gave it to Nikkie Turner, who has about 12 books out. She was initially going to incorporate the story into a collaborative project she’s working on with other writers, but she liked the story and pitched it to Random House and that’s how I got my book deal.
When did you begin working on the book?
I began in November of 2007 and finished it in 3 months. It’s a story about friendship, loyalty, young love and a young hustler, who enters the world of drug dealing after a family crisis.
Drugs are not your legacy, so what prompted you to write about it?
The story is loosely based on my life, the lives of those I grew up with, and ghettos all across the United States. A lot of young people view drug dealing as quick money and can’t give it up. They end up dead or in jail. Sometimes people, who grow up together, grow apart. When they get caught up in illegal activity, they find out who their true friends are.
Coming out of Fort Greene Projects [Brooklyn], I’ve seen many people come up from elementary school and turn on their friends as they got older and made more money. The story is basically about how people change, who they love, and who they’re loyal to.
Working in music for so long, did you ever think you’d write a book?
I’ve been writing rhymes forever. In 2006, I made a conscious decision to expand my craft and figured that if I could write rhymes, I could write screenplays and books, which I did, starting with my first screenplay “CinderFella.”
Hip-hop and books are the same in that they’re both storytelling, do you agree?
It depends on who the artist is: Some artists are abstract and their hooks may not go with what the lyrics are about. Artists like B.I.G., Slick Rick, and Jay Z write rhymes in chronological order, but not everybody does that.
Are you utilizing books as a means to educate others?
Yes, education is a process; I call myself educating young people, but young people are always educating me! My son was one of the people who inspired me to write because he wrote a one-act play and I thought, “I could have been doing that.”
Where can people get the book?
Visit Amazon.com, Barnes & Nobles, Random House, Borders, Danadane.com, and most of the urban American stores across the country will carry it.
What’s on the horizon for Dana Dane?
I’ve already drafted two other books: The follow up to NUMBERS and another book in the works, in addition to two screenplays. I’m the producer of a 6-part miniseries, “The Stuy,” written and directed by Joseph C. Grant Jr.; the trailor and dvd are available for purchase at his website ghettoeyezpub.com – click the film link.
Satisfied readers had this to say about NUMBERS:
“I grew up reading books by Donald Goines and actually named myself after the writer, Iceberg Slim. It’s nice to see Dana carry on the tradition of great, street-based novels! This book will sit right next to the other classics! Love it!”
“I’m proud of Dana! He has delivered a street classic! I could feel each character. A great story!”
“Dana Dane, take a bow. NUMBERS is fire…loved it!”
—T. N. Baker, author of Dice
“I couldn’t put NUMBERS down! I was able to relive my life in every page. I once thought that only I understood the power of numbers in the projects. In NUMBERS, Dana Dane shows how numbers are the projects. If you grew up in any ghetto or urban neighborhood, this is your story too. Thank you Dana, for bringing back the memories, the love, the fear and the luck, but mostly thank you for bringing back the numbers. My number was 810 on both tracks.”
—Dr. Roxanne Shante’
“Dana Dane has given a voice and soul to Fort Greene, Brooklyn with a story that calls to mind The Coldest Winter Ever and the works of James Baldwin and Donald Goines.”
—Joseph C. Grant, Film Director/Producer
Hana G. for the Connex List 2009