As a teenager, Zach jumped on the scene early with his crew the Kanser Troop, playing coffee shop shows and opening for Twin Cities pioneers such as Urban Atmosphere (now known as just Atmosphere, of course) the Abstract Park, The Micranots, Musabi, and others. In 1997 Kanser pushed over 1,000 copies of Now, an album produced on Atmosphere producer ANT’s 4-track and dubbed by hand to cassette. By age 20, Zach was booking/hosting and co-running “Headspin Sundays,” the now-legendary all-ages Hip Hop weekly held at the late Bon Appetit Cafe—it was an event that launched the careers of many in the current Twin Cities hip-hop scene. Groups like Brother Ali, Odd Jobs, Unknown Prophets, DJ K-Salaam, and Leroy Smokes are just a few of the many bands that played Headspin Sundays.
“It all started a few years back at Bon App / me and Son hooked up and started to rap” – Big Jess of Unknown Prophets
“Me and Aaron Money used to rock Headspin / Been catching wreck off the rep ever since” – Brother Ali
“I remember Headspin at Bon App / I used to get nervous when Zach would grab the mic / and ask the crowd, ‘Where the MCs at?’” –P.O.S.
Just as “Eight Mile” began to raise the profile of battle rap in early 2002, Zach began hosting the most legendary MC battles ever held in Minnesota, events that took place at Dinkytown’s Loring Pasta Bar every third Monday. After stepping down as host, Zach won the one-year anniversary Battle at the Loring and the Midwest Showdown MC Battle at First Ave in 2003, the MC Battle at the Twin Cities Celebration of Hip-Hop in 2004 and 2005, the regional round of the Scribble Jam MC Battle in 2004, along with many other notable accomplishments.
In 2007 Zach released a solo album called “White Jesus” produced by ANT, Big Jess, 84 Caprise, Buck KAC, and Dillon Parker. White Jesus created a large local buzz that has helped to launch Zach into the higher level of respect among the local rap scene.
Leading into a new decade Zach and the other rapper in Kanser, Unicus have become part of a live, hip-hop band called More Than Lights. More Than Lights have been able to bridge the gap between the festival scene and the underground hip-hop scene in the Midwest. Their first release party in November of 2009 attracted close to 1,000 attendees. After a solid year of touring, playing Midwest shows, and outdoor festivals, More Than Lights’ second release show was to a sold out crowd at The Fine Line Music Cafe in Downtown Minneapolis, in January of 2011. Most recently, they sold out The Cabooze in Minneapolis, December 2011, co-headlining with Heiruspecs.
2011 was a successful year for Big Zach! In March, Zach released another solo album produced by Big Jess called New Crayons. More Than Lights also toured through Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Colorado, Montana, Oregon, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Idaho, Wyoming, Washington, Nebraska and more! The band played notable music festivals such as Bella Music Fest, Shangril-la, New Autumn Experience, Sawtooth Music Festival, Soundtown and Zach played a solo set at Prairie Grass.
On December 1st, 2011 Zach released his first book about Minnesota rap called Headspin, Headshots and History; Growing up in Twin Cities Hip-Hop.