It was about age 10 when Zane, inspired by the kiddie rap of Another Bad Creation (ABC) and Kris Kross, got more serious about his eventual career and started rehearsing with his cousin. A year later, the aspiring talent beat a case of stage fright and began entering local Atlanta talent shows. Kevin Wales, owner of World Wide Entertainment and the man who discovered the immensely successful artists Another Bad Creation, Monica, and 112, attended one such performance. He was immediately blown away by then literally little Zane.
Young and restless, 17-year old microphone phenomenon Lil’ Zane has got big plans. Having proven last year with R&B macks 112 that he can take you “”Anywhere””, the teen rap threat has resurfaced after an intense bidding war and has focused his sighs on Young World; The Future, his hotly anticipated debut album on World Wide Entertainment/Priority.[Editor’s Note – The Above Intro is a slight rewrite of Zane’s Bio from his websiteLil-Zane.com]We recently did an exclusive interview with the hot new R & B singer and it went a little something like this.EMLet’s start the interview. I’d like to start off with my basic overly broad question. Tell us who you are, and why we are speaking with you today?ZaneI’m Zane, and you are speaking with me today because you want to talk to one of the hottest things in the streets today, and you want to find out what’s going down.EMWhat makes you think you are the hottest things in the streets?ZaneI feel like I’m one of the hottest things because we have a video out now [Tonight I’m Yours], which is doing really well and getting a lot of play on BET, I’m currently on tour with Ginuwine and I have two movies coming out in the Fall, there’s not too many people that can say that.EMHow did you get started in the Game?Zane112 put me on a song called “”Anywhere,”” which ended up getting me a deal with Priority Records.EMAre you on your second Album right now? What happened with the first one, and are you happy with where the second album is right now?ZaneThe second Album is great, I love it. The first one was called “”Young World, The Future.””EMWho is producing your new album?ZaneI’m working with Big Tank, Timberland, Stevie J, Blonde Teamster out of the Dre Camp, BK All Day, Jimmy Kindricks who did 3 songs on Jay Z’s Album, Gary Smith, and more. We’re working with a lot of new producers and big name producers at the moment. [Editor’s Note – I’m tragically un-hip and I’m sure I butchered the spelling on some of these names.]EMHow does having so many different producers affect your sound and how you work in the studio?ZaneIt just keeps it different. You don’t want an album that all sounds the same, so having different producers brings a different flavor to each song.EMI have to ask you, are you watching P Diddy’s “”Making The Band?”” If so, do you think the show is real and that what these people are doing is real?ZaneYes I’m watching, and I think it’s very real.EMSo you think people are really stupid enough to blow their big chance?ZaneOh yeah, definitely.EMAnyway, back to you. What is your inspiration?ZaneIt’s my love of music. I love being creative, I love seeing people happy and getting the respect from the street.EMYour music seems to be positive and upbeat, was that a conscience choice?ZaneI’m not trying to please certain people. I’m just writing what’s in my heart. I can’t be a foul mouth dude all the time – although I used to be, since I got God into my life, I toned it down a bit. When you put out positive stuff, you’ll get a positive response.EMWhere do you think Rap is now at the moment, both in terms of Creativity and Cultural impact?ZaneRap is like people. Rap is dying everyday and rap is being reborn everyday. Rap will never die; you’ll have some artist who will release BS Stuff and take it down a few notches and others who will raise it. Some artist will take the fun and life out of it, while others will bring the fun back.EMSo where do you think it is now? We went through the whole “”Gangsta Period,”” followed by the “”Ho’s Period,”” which admittedly is probably the same thing, do you think Positive and Fun rap is making a comeback?ZaneI think that there are still some “”Gangstas”” and “”Ho’s”” out there. As far as the music goes, I never felt like that was all that they were singing about. The music always had a wide variety; you have people like Snoop, 50, Nelly, like me. EMEven old Gangstas seem to be becoming more “”positive.”” Now that they’ve made a lot of money, it seems like they can no longer rap about the streets and remain their credibility. ZaneI don’t think that because a rapper makes a lot of money that they can no longer rap about the streets. We’re all from the streets. Any rapper that raps about the streets either from the streets, hung in the streets, or wants to be from the streets. The streets will always be there.EMLet’s talk about your movie career. You seem to be blowing up on the big screen, and have a couple of big movies coming out in the fall. .Zane Yeah, I was in “”Finding Forrester”” with Sean Connery in 2000; then I did Dr. Doolittle. And this fall I’m doing “”The Fighting Temptations,”” with Cuba Gooding Jr., Beyonce Knowles, Mike Epps, Faith Evans, Steve Harvey and I’m going to be in a called “”Motives”” with Vivica A. Fox.EMDo you think that being successful in movies is helping you with your crossover?ZaneYou get more exposure, but you can’t say that just because you do movies, you are going to be able to sell records. They are two totally separate things.EMWhat made you want to do both?ZaneIt’s the money, the fun, the creativity. I’ve watched a lot of television all my life any like any body; I’ve always wanted to see myself on it. As I like to tell a lot of people, the Entertainment business is one of the only things where you don’t have to have an age limit to start. There’s an age limit to start college, to drink, to get into a club, to drive, to sign contracts, etc. But for Entertainment there’s no limit to what you can do or when you can start it. You can be 5 years old and make a million dollars.EMWhat are you going to do in the fall when this tour ends?ZaneI’m either going to go on my own promotional tour, or we may go out with Nelly or Puff’s upcoming fall tour. Whatever is hot we’re trying to attach our name to it. We’re going to be with the next thing smoking, whether it’s by myself or with someone else.EM Music Featureby Michelle Alexandria3/18/03