Lil Zane reflects on meeting Tupac Shakur and responds back to those claiming he is trying to be like the late rap icon.
Back at the 1992 Jack The Rapper convention, Snoop Dogg and Death Row records got into a brawl with Luke Records, a Southern-focused label founded by Uncle Luke of the 2 Live Crew. In attendance was Lil Zane where the upcoming rapper was hoping to showcase his skills and network with other artists.
The night was cut short as those in attendance including Lil Zane were rushed out the venue due to the brawl. Fortunately for Lil Zane that night was not a total lost. According to the rapper, a lady named Mary Jo Morgan introduced the teenage artist to Shakur. Zane, along with his rap group Chronic, met Tupac thanks to Morgan.
“She introduced us and he was like, ‘Let me hear something.’ Then the other two, they were like scared to rap. Not really scared, but I guess they kind of froze up,” explained Zane who did not shy away from the opportunity.
“‘Yo, that reminds me of me when I was younger,'” said Tupac to Lil Zane who instantly was gased. “So, that’s how I met ‘Pac and then ever since then we used run into each other places.”
From that moment on Lil Zane would listen to Tupac everyday. For Zane he was inspired by Tupac, but never attempted to copy the rap icon, despite facing criticism during his career where many said he was trying to sound like Tupac.
“I’m Baby ‘Pac. I always wanted to be better than ‘Pac. I’m just being real,” said Zane on Ugly Money podcast. “Kobe wanted to be Jordan dawg. That n**** shot like Jordan when he was alive. All that stuff, but nobody be like oh you trying to be Jordan. Few people said that, but long as he was winning it didn’t matter. So I looked at it like it’s okay to try to be the best.”
Zane never achieved quite the success Tupac did with his music. Best known for his 2000 hit single “Callin’ Me” featuring 112, Zane also focused on an acting career. A career which landed him in various roles in movies and television shows such as Cuttin’ da Mustard, The Parkers, One on one, A Day in the Life, Motives, The Fighting Temptations, Dr. Dolittle 2, and Finding Forrester .