Lil Tjay Essentials

Apple Music
Lil Tjay Essentials

With singsong flows, unsparing street raps, and emotional transparency, Lil Tjay is a face of modern New York hip-hop. Born Tione Merritt in 2001, the Bronx rhymer began recording seriously after spending time in a youth detention center. From the time he released his major-label debut, True 2 Myself (2019), he flaunted a seamless mix of melodious flows and aspirational lyricism (“One Take”) while also serving up anthems for the Big Apple’s drill scene (“Zoo York” with Fivio Foreign and Pop Smoke). He’s been able to pour those flexible vocals into romance, too, teaming up with his peers for would-be love songs (“Calling My Phone” with 6lack). After being shot in the summer of 2022, Tjay recorded his return song, “Beat the Odds,” from his hospital bed, reaffirming his instincts to render life experiences through pained melodies.

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