On YOUNG WORLD: THE FUTURE, rapper Lil' Zane doesn't rely on a revolving-door roster of famous guest stars or semi-humorous interludes to put himself across. He lays it all on the line right at the outset, delivering assertive-but-unhurried rhymes over insistent beats on the opening "Top Down," whose chorus bears faint echoes of the Beastie Boys' "Root Down."
Lil' Zane may cover most of the same topics as his peers (sex, violence, friendship, money), but he's far from a soundalike. From the lusty, percolating "What Must I Do" to the funk-jazz flavoring on the machismo-laden "Partners Come Along Too," Lil' Zane maintains a distinctive sound. The brashness of his come-ons and proclamations of sexual superiority bespeak a self-confidence that extends to Zane's straight-ahead vocal delivery and ensures that YOUNG WORLD delivers from beginning to end.