Even though I have done a few reviews about young and even old-school rap and hip-hop artists, I still haven’t really gotten into those genres yet. There’s nothing wrong with the songs that these artists make. I just realized that maybe their songs aren’t just for me. Regardless of that, I still enjoy learning about their lives. Sometimes, there’s just a moment in their lives that I find compelling. These people have used their experiences to write songs that appeal to a lot of people. Music really has a way of connecting people. And that’s what’s great about it.
It should not be much of a surprise when I say that I haven’t really heard about Lil Tjay until now. With so many artists being introduced, it’s sometimes hard to keep track of all them. The fact that I also don’t really follow rap and hip-hop that intently doesn’t really help either. But looking at what I could find out about him, it seems that he hasn’t been in the industry for that long. Although he has been continued working ever since he released his first song on Soundcloud.
Considering that a lot of rap and hip-hop artists grew up in any of the five boroughs of New York City, I wasn’t really surprised to see that Lil Tjay was born in the Bronx. It’s fairly common for a bunch these new artists be born close to the very pivotal places in music history. Tjay, or Tionne Jayden Merritt, lived in an apartment with his mom and two siblings. There isn’t really much about Tjay’s personal outside of very scant details. But it seemed that Tjay was the rowdier of the three siblings. He often got into trouble. So much so that one time, he got sentenced to a year in juvenile detention.
But it was in juvie that Lil Tjay would write his own raps. After he got out, he continued to write and record his own music. Like a lot of artists, SoundCloud was the place for them to put out their own music. One of the songs that he wrote in the detention center, “Resume”, would somehow go viral online. Seeing his song get a thousands of listens on the platform made him consider that writing and performing songs could be for him. In an article that he did for Pitchfork, it seemed that he was aware of the metrics that his songs were getting. And he would release new stuff when the listens for his new stuff started going down.
As he continued released new music, he got the attention of bunch of people from different record labels. His songs were getting millions of listens on SoundCloud. By the end of 2018, he had released his debut EP. Slowly but surely, he started doing guest spots in other artists’ tracks, one of which managed to get in the Billboard Hot 100. His own song “F.N.” managed to reach number 56 on that same chart later that year. It seems like has been consistently writing and releasing music.
It’s amazing how much an artist can write about anything, honestly. It does take months to produce an entire EP or album. But often artists would write and write and write while they can. In 2020, he released a song aptly called “20/20” which hit 94 on the Billboard Hot 100. It’s very weird to keep talking about his releases. But there isn’t really a lot there is to talk about Tjay, as weird as it is to say. He has continued to write and release his own music, he collaborates with other artists on his tracks. At this point, Lil Tjay has managed to reach a net worth of about $2,000,000.
In August 2022, he was shot multiple times in an attempted robbery. I am aware how weird this sounds, but that’s a fairly recent thing that I could find about him that people might be interested it. A lot of people online thought that he would be paralyzed and braindead. But thankfully he has since recovered from it and has gotten back to releasing music and performing in different live events. You never really know what will happen to other people. But I’m glad that Lil Tjay is back on his feet.
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