b. Zane Copeland Jnr., 11 July 1982, Yonkers, New York, USA. First known to the rap world as Lil’ Zane, Copeland grew up fast, so much so, that by the time of his second album, he was no longer Lil’, just Zane. When Zane was only seven years old, his family relocated to Atlanta, Georgia, and shortly thereafter he began developing a deep appreciation of both rap and soul music. By the age of 10, prepubescent rap acts such as Another Bad Creation (ABC) and Kris Kross had inspired the youngster to give rhyming a try himself, so he began rehearsing with a cousin and entering local talent shows. He was spotted by Kevin Wales, the head of Worldwide Entertainment and the person who discovered hitmakers such as the aforementioned Another Bad Creation, plus Monica and 112. Impressed with the then 11-year-old’s rapping skills, Wales arranged for Zane to appear on 112’s 1999 US Top 20 single, ‘Anywhere’, in addition to touring with the group. Next up for Zane was an appearance on the Next Friday soundtrack, for which he contributed the last track, ‘Money Stretch’.
The time had finally arrived for Zane to deliver his 2000 debut, Young World: The Future (released as Lil’ Zane), an album that narrowly missed the US Top 20 and spawned the single ‘Callin’ Me’ which reached the top spot on the Billboard rap chart. Zane then tried his hand at acting and he landed roles in Finding Forrester (alongside Sean Connery) and Dr. Dolittle 2 (with Eddie Murphy). Zane’s main love remained music, and the rapper returned with his highly anticipated follow-up, The Big Zane Theory, in the summer of 2003.