Zapper Zane Smith of Lithonia, Georgia was recently interviewed by VoyageATL. The site seeks to put a spotlight on individuals in the Metro area to discuss their impact and achievements. Each article is written in his/her own own words.
Zane Smith discussed his journey, how and why began rapping, and much more. See what he had to say. Read now.
Today we’d like to introduce you to Zane Smith.
Zane, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My name is Philip Larry Mincey. My artist name is Zane Smith. I am a rapper from Lithonia, GA. just east of Atlanta. It’s funny; several people have said, “where was this back then… I never saw you rapping… making music.”
Well, I do rap, I do make music, and the talent has always been there. The passion as well. I have always loved music. I still remember as a kid, walking around, dancing and clucking to Project Pat’s “Chicken Head.” In the dark listening to TI’s “24’s” late at night, even though I had school in the morning. Sitting by the radio trying to get the perfect tape recording of “Naggin” by the Ying Yang Twins as it played on the radio.
With time, my love of music and my knowledge of it, past and present has grown. Fast forward to today, I am a rap artist myself, expressing my own thoughts and emotions.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
In about 2013 or 2014 while in college for New Media Arts (aka visual communication), I made the decision to rap. I started writing songs, producing beats, and selling shoes and clothes to purchase equipment. One-by-one, I got the pieces I needed to get the job done. Six months after graduation, my first album “SWATCHES” released June 24, 2016, detailing my collegiate experience.
After graduation, I went from job-to-job; customer service, working rides, watching kids, the zoo, the mall, cutting trees, nothing fulfilling. At that time, I didn’t make much money, but what little I did, went straight to music. Staying with my folks was a blessing and a curse. The blessing, my basic needs were met. The curse, that was the questions, comments, and pressure. If you didn’t know, making music is expensive!
Equipment, production, and promotion costs ate my pockets quick! I lost $1,000 to what I thought was PR firm that would help push my music. It hurt. That was all I had. My very last. I had worked a month-and-a-half, just to make one thousand dollars. A month-and-a-half of saving, after taxes, and after gas, just to have one thousand dollars thrown in the trash.
In my song “black wealth” from my album “black”(2016), I say this bar, “we got dreams, so they sell us hope, where the cash at, robbin’ all these folks!” It’s A LOT of people that “work in music” (notice the quotations), some looking to help, others looking to capitalize. Along with my journey, I’ve just been living and learning; it’s all just becoming part of my story.
We’d love to hear more about what you do.
It’s a zoo! It’s a jungle out here! We all got dreams, want things… nobody care! If you really want it, you gotta get it for yourself! It’s what I’ve had to do most of my life, but I’ve realized it even more since I started making music.
Everybody is self-made. We’re all animals, fighting, competing, or just ignorant to the next man (as in mankind) because we all have our own agendas, priorities.
It doesn’t hurt me none, because I’ve seen it before. In high school, I started a YouTube channel reviewing shoes, so my graphic design, photography, and video production skills started there, were implemented, and only improved with time. College courses taught me a thing or two as well, so everything I’ve learned, and all my skills have been applied to me as an artist, Zane Smith, my brand, Zane Smith Music, my independent label, Smith Mincey Productions.
It’s been a one-man show, just me, Han Solo, solo dolo, but my team will assemble with time. As far as the music goes, I plan to keep releasing food for the soul. I want to make music, art, with a message, that not only sounds good, but feels good, and is actually good for you.
What were you like growing up?
As a kid, I was always on the quiet side. I could always talk though, speak up, present, have a voice when needed, I’m more of the speak when spoken to, the when necessary type. Some people talk just cause, no reason at all, that’s just not me. I was always creative, artistic from my drawing to my writing, even way back.
I think a lot of times we overlook the small things, the little things we’ve done, current circumstances and situations, but I see them as building blocks, all pieces of our story, getting us ready for something greater.
I’ve been laughed at, picked on, critiqued, praised. Already. Zane Smith is going to be the biggest, greatest, most iconic, notable artist, to ever rap. Period.