Lil Zane is one of the many young, Atlanta-bred rappers who caught fire in the early 2000s. He's been out of the spotlight for a while, but steps back in today (July 11) as he turns 33.

Like many, the rhymer, born Zane Copeland, only reached his star potential after his ditched his boy band. He got some attention as a member of Kronic in the mid '90s, but the group dissolved in 1996 -- they never even released an album.

Zane had to wait four years before he broke out as a star. His affiliation with the Bad Boy group 112 helped; he toured with them in 1999. "Callin' Me," the 2000 hit that featured 112, became Lil Zane's most known track, peaking at No. 25 on the Billboard charts.

Unfortunately, "Callin' Me" was also Lil Zane's career peak. His debut album, Young World: The Future, sold a modest (by 2000's standards) 300,000 copies, and neither of Lil Zane's subsequent albums sold over 20,000 copies.

He didn't completely sink from show business, however.  Zane also had an acting career, appearing in Dr. Dolittle 2 and on UPN (R.I.P.) staples The Parkers and Girlfriends.

These days, he's still reportedly working on new music despite his battle with recent health issues. Last September, he was sent to the hospital for kidney failure but has since recovered.

Watch Lil Zane's "Callin' Me" Video Feat. 112

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