Trash-talkin' rapper Lil' Zane — who got his big break jamming with 112 on their "Anywhere" track — will show hip-hop fans another side of himself on his next album, due out later this summer.
"I'm not cursing in my lyrics no more," he proudly declares. "Instead of using [expletives] or the wrong word, I come up with something clever for it." Because of record execs' pressure to push the envelope, the 18-year-old rapper thinks listeners may have the wrong impression of him. "I had people behind me that were older than me that were like, 'Write this,'" he says, referring to the racy rants on his debut album Young World: The Future. "All I could do was write. I was just trying to do what they wanted me to do."
Having made his film debut with Sean Connery in Finding Forrester — "I think it was kinda long, but it was a good movie," he says — Lil' Zane returns to the big screen in Dr. Dolittle 2 (opening Friday). A little setside praise from star Eddie Murphy went a long way for the nervous novice. "I kept asking him every time I did my part, 'How am I doing?'" he confesses. "[Murphy]'s like, 'Out of all the rappers I've worked with, you've kinda got it. You can do this acting thing, for real. If you couldn't do it, I'd tell you.'"