Dana Dane says that he first learned that Snoop Dogg covered his 1987 single “Cinderfella Dana Dane” while watching television.  

“I was watching a movie by Master P and Silkk the Shocker, and the song was there. and I was like, ‘Wait a minute,’” Dana Dane says during an exclusive interview with HipHopDX. “I said, ‘Yo, that’s my joint.’ When anybody covers your song it’s like the highest form of flattery. Just like what we do in Hip Hop when we sample people’s beats because we love the music. We’re not trying to steal it. We just love it. We cover it because it’s so dope. And when he did that, and he had previously done ‘La-Di-Da-Di,’ I was like, ‘That’s dope, he did Slick Rick’s La-Di-Da-Di,’ over.’ I’m like, ‘Man, somebody needs to cover my song,’ and he covers my song.”

Snoop Dogg’s Covers Of Classic Rap Tracks Changed Rap’s Landscape, Dana Dane Says

In 1993, Snoop Dogg had broken a then-unwritten Rap rule by covering Doug E. Fresh and M. C. Ricky D’s “La-Di-Da-Di,” reimagining the 1985 song as “Lodi Dodi.” (M. C. Ricky D later changed his name to Slick Rick.) Snoop Dogg’s song appeared on his blockbuster debut album, Doggystyle, which sold more than 5 million copies. 

Snoop’s version of Dana Dane’s “Cinderfella Dana Dane” was “Snoopafella,”a cut from his platinum 1999 album, No Limit Top Dogg.

Although Snoop Dogg’s covers, which also included a rendition of Biz Markie’s 1988 song “Vapors” on 1996’s Tha Doggfather, were met with some criticism as the time, Dana Dane says Snoop Dogg altered the course of rap.

“I think the landscape was changing and Snoop Dogg changed it singlehandedly,” Dana Dane says. “He was like, ‘Listen, I’m not afraid to show love to my pioneers that I love, or the ones who grew before me.’ And I guess that was paying homage, you know, to the ultimate. And people didn’t say, ‘Oh that’s Snoop Dogg bitin’. They said, ‘Oh, that’s Snoop Dogg.’

Dana Dane, who is slated to appear as a special guest at the Masters of Ceremony Hip Hop Reunion concert featuring Slick Rick, DMX, EPMD, Special Ed and others at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles today (July 18), says that covering another artist’s song is important for the development of Rap music.

“When any artist shouts out, or gives tribute, it really closes the gap from what’s now to what’s then,” Dana Dane says. “I think that’s what Hip Hop should always be about, keeping it a constant stream of young people coming in and still knowing where it started at, with the Melle Mels, the Afrika Bambaataas, the Kool Hercs, Grandmaster Flashes, DJ Hollywoods, Furious Fives, Treacherous Threes. So when Snoop Dogg and other emcees shout out artists like that, it really makes people look and be like, ‘Who’s this person? I’m going to go check them out.’ And it’s so accessible today, with the Internet they’ll just go on Google and say, ‘Oh, you’ve got a new fan.’ That becomes a situation where it’s a full circle theory and you can get your blessings.”

Photograph by Soren Baker

RELATED: Dana Dane: “Illmatic” Passed Baton From Rakims & Big Daddy Kanes To Nas, Biggie, Jay Z