Lil Tjay
Lil Tjay

Lil Tjay

About Lil Tjay

Lil Tjay is stuck between two worlds. He grew up in the South Bronx, where the tradition of hustlers-turned-rappers is less a myth than an everyday reality. Born in 2001, though, Tjay was also deeply obsessed with the culture of the internet; his two favourite artists are Justin Bieber and Lil Wayne. This duality is his greatest strength. The MC, born Tione Jayden Merritt, isn’t afraid to rap about both sides of his childhood. “I was just an innocent kid, but I still had that street view,” he explained to Apple Music. “I had that balance. I just rap about things that I’ve been through.” His first hit, 2018’s “Resume,” was a SoundCloud sensation, released when Tjay was just a teen. He credits his sharpened pen to his stint in prison on robbery charges a year earlier. On the track, he touches on the fragility of his success when he raps, “I bug out on all instrumentals/It might be my time, but I can't go.” As his career progressed, though, he became more comfortable with his fame and supplemented his melodic flow and infectious, unforgettable bars with talk of designer clothes and foreign cars. His biggest hits, like “F.N” from 2019’s True 2 Myself, move from lamenting his past to celebrating the present. “Cartier glasses, 20/20, got a clear view/You a man, I don't fear you/Act up, we gon' mask up, boy, I dare you,” he raps. Lil Tjay is honest in discussing his path because he knows it’s what makes him him. “All my songs are relatable to my story,” he told Apple Music. “I just hope they’re relatable to my fans, too.”

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