It was close to midnight when DANE grabbed the mic at Bottom Bracket Social Club, and with the previous performers already experiencing issues with the sound system I could only hope for the best. DANE started his performance off with “Bout To Get It,” a perfect song to get the crowd hyped up for more. But this would be the only song he’d perform from Waitin’ On The 20 for he was on a mission to promote his upcoming EP Golden Glass & Graffiti. 

DANE was already receiving praise for his high energy and refreshing sound, but no one could have predicted what would happen next. His mic kept giving out (more often than not), and with much frustration DANE dropped his only instrument to give a different kind of performance. People were astonished as DANE approached his new fans, projecting his voice to ensure everyone could feel how Sicker Than The Average he really was. And it worked, punch lines were followed by “Ooh’s,” “Ah’s,” and laughter. This special clan of hip hop heads were forced to pay attention, and they loved it.

As DANE’s manager, I feared for his vocals. His dialect was precise and clear, nothing like the crackling speaker behind him. The audience roared as they cheered and applauded the unique efforts made by “a true artist” Anya. DANE went right back to his mic to test the sound one more time, and everything seemed to be fine. He signaled DJ D Best to drop the next track and proceeded to give observers something uplifting. He expressed his love for being on stage, “I swear to whoever the fuck you wanna believe this is what I love doing.”

I took this opportunity to start distributing DANE’s flyers and I noticed there were already a few people with some in their hands. Everyone else was eager to get their personal pass to connect with the UnderPaid Genius official artist, extending their arms with bright smiles that elevated my spirits. I was one proud manager.

DANE left his performance feeling high from all the love he received. The praise was continuous throughout the night and the rest of the tour. From the official artists to the local artists to the customers that wandered into each venue, DANE gave everyone a piece of him to remember, reminding everyone to always keep cognizant.


– Stephanie Elise