'The Summary' Featuring Chubb Rock
Dana Dane's first novel, Numbers, is based on his experiences growing up in the Brooklyn projects.
Hip-hop artist Dana Dane broke onto the music scene in the late 1980s with "Cinderfella," featuring a passable English accent for a guy who grew up in Brooklyn. Since then, he's had chart success, become a father, operated a clothing store and recently released his first novel, Numbers. It's about a boy whose knack for math gets him involved with the drug world.
What makes Numbers unusual is that it features a soundtrack. Dane's son came to him one day looking to get into the music business, and while Dane does little with music these days, he saw it as an opportunity to work with his son. So the two collaborated on music to accompany the book.
The protagonist, Dupree "Numbers" Wallace, reflects Dane's early childhood: He's a gambler and a "mama's boy that feels like he's the man of the house." He soon meets a mentor, who encourages Numbers' mathematical abilities as a way to become a big-time hustler.
"He's really just a loyal person — just trying to make his way through the hood," Dane says.
In an interview with Scott Simon, Dane talks about growing up in the projects and how his mother affected his will to succeed no matter the path. Click the audio link above to hear the full interview.