For decades, almost since its inception, rap was the most provincial form of popular American music — a loosely interconnected constellation of local scenes, each with its own sounds and aesthetics and characters and rules.
lil tjay fn lyrics clean – Lil TJAY (@liltjay) On Twitter
People who like Lil Tjay might also like these artists. I don’t want to be true to anybody else. I want to follow my dreams. I want to make sure that I put myself first and accomplish what I need to accomplish. I didn’t really record the album thinking, This song is going to be on the album, and this is going to be the first or second track.” My album is just a body of work that happened over time. It wasn’t like those were the last 15 songs I made, so I was going to just put them on my album. True 2 Myself means a lot to me because it’s a part of me. It’s me trying to get to my next level of success, so I just need to be true to who I am and focus on that main goal.
Released via Columbia Records, Lil Tjay has shared his latest project, True 2 Myself. The album includes the rapper’s EP F.N. and remixes to two of the F.N. songs, Leaked” and Brother,” featuring Lil Durk and Lil Wayne , respectively. The album also hosts a handful of features on the 17-track offering from Jay Critch, Lil Baby , and Rileyy Lanez. To accompany the release of True 2 Myself, Lil Tjay shared a nine-minute documentary that acted as a behind-the-scenes look into the album-making process.
Stream it below. In a tweet, Tjay teased that if enough fans like the song, he just may release his debut album. Update: Tjay revealed on Instagram that his new album will be released October 11th.
TJay is 18. He started fine-tuning his writing during a year spent incarcerated. (I know what it’s like trying to duck 5-0,” he sings on Pa$to.”) As an expression of love TJay sings for you I would have done whatever” on None of Your Love,” which samples Justin Beiber. As another SoundCloud phenomenon, Lil TJay has gone from an unknown to an established thing who’s already making the transition to singing and writing songs about the difficulties of having his new material leaked.
I feel like I’ve been playing one lane a little bit. The thing behind the album is, I didn’t want it to be one sound, but I did want it to be one mood. So when you go through it, it’s kind of mellow, besides F.N.” No Escape” is another sound that I’ve been playing with. It’s just me straight rapping. This is going to be a transition throughout my career. I’m going to step into different lanes. I have different ways I can approach a track.
Lil Tjay has collaborated with a host of contemporary hip-hop’s biggest names: French Montana, Blueface, Polo G, Tory Lanez, and YNW Melly. With only one EP and 10 singles out, Lil Tjay remains one of the highest-played artists on SoundCloud, and his influence is growing exponentially. He was recently signed to Columbia Records, which has represented superstar acts like Beyoncé, Adele, 50 Cent, Pharrell Williams, George Ezra and Tyler the Creator.
Lil Tjay, like A Boogie, comes from the Bronx. He’s only been making music for a couple of years. Tjay started releasing music in 2017, after spending a year in a juvenile detention facility on a robbery charge. He was one of those baffling, out-of-nowhere viral success stories, with his songs racking up millions of plays on SoundCloud before the press or major labels noticed what was happening. Tjay might’ve grown up hard, but there’s nothing forbidding about his music. He sings about life struggles and conspicuous consumption in the exact same tone, a nasal and airless sing-speak, and sometimes he toggles back and forth between them mid-bar.
Before Lil TJay became the Internet heartthrob with delectable deliveries and streams in the multi-millions, he was just a kid from the Bronx with an equal love for Jay-Z bars and Justin Bieber songs.
Lil Tjay was born Tione Dalyan Merritt and raised in the South Bronx area of New York City with his mother and siblings. In middle school, Lil Tjay began to get into fights and get involved in robberies leading him to serve multiple two and three-month sentences. In 2016, at the age of 15, he was sentenced to one year in a youth detention center. This longer time period influenced Lil Tjay to begin writing lyrics. In late 2017, Lil Tjay made a promise to his mother that he would no longer be involved in crime. Before recording in a studio, he made several songs on his phone and computer, using bars designed to work in hip hop style. He was inspired by Usher and Michael Jackson , which his mother would play as he was growing up. He made a song that is called “No Escape” which talks about his life.
Lil Tjay released his debut album True 2 Myself on October 11, 2019. It includes many of his original SoundCloud songs, as well as new ones with features such as Lil Baby and Lil Wayne.
The first song he recorded when he got out was Resume” Lyrically, the song is a crude screed against average” women; it showed an inkling of Tjay’s sense of songcraft, and was recorded the first time he was in a studio. When he released the song on SoundCloud, Tjay barely had a social media presence. The only platform he used was Facebook. By his estimate, on the second day of its release the song had 5,000 listens. A year later, the song is at 13.7 million streams on SoundCloud and over 8.5 million views on YouTube.
Instead of a unifying vision, Tjay traverses a range of melodic styles. On a song like None of Your Love ,” he interpolates Justin Bieber’s 2010 hit Baby.” Asked how this came about, he shrugs: He wanted to transition into singing,” so he entered the studio and did just that.
Stream Lil Tjay’s True 2 Myself on Spotify and Apple Music below, and watch the documentary on YouTube above. I don’t even give a fuck. It’s just that nobody is getting my music anymore. It’s staying with me. True to me.
Lil Tjay has been building up steam for some time now and he dropped his debut album at the perfect time to capitalize on it. The 17-track True 2 Myself came out on Friday it boasted one of the most highly-coveted features in the game right now. No disrespect to Lil Wayne (who appears on the remix of Tjay’s hit “Leaked”), but this year, Lil Baby has been popping up on everyone’s records and knocking his verses out of the park every time he does.
Brothers ,” his most successful song, is dour pop. Through a joyous Auto-Tuned gargle, Tjay raps about death, dejection and incarceration. The juxtaposition of the ebullient delivery with the song’s grave subject matter is striking.
Raised in an NYC neighborhood saturated with gang culture and deficient of positivity, Lil TJay eventually earned himself a year of incarceration. Upon release, he committed himself to finding legal routes toward his music dreams. The studio would be his saving grace and destiny. His first recording birthed the heartless yet catchy Resume.” Soon after, the flammable Brothers” would earn him his first Internet smash. The infectious hook and sophisticated harmony snatched ears and eyes to the tune of 27 million plus YouTube viewers. The follow-up, None of your Love” exhibited TJay’s artistic range as it swam into deeper R&B waters to express a Pitbull’s puppy love. It’s as if Jackson 5 MJ and Future turnt up in some alternate universe.
I’d know. And as far as that rapper goes. I hate to say it, I hope I don’t sound ridiculous I don’t know who this man is. I mean, he could be walking down the street and I wouldn’t know a thing. Sorry to this man.
While in prison on robbery charges, New York rapper Lil Tjay found the motivation to get through his sentence by writing lyrics. Upon his release in 2017, Tjay, still just a teenager, began recording his songs and posting them online. Almost overnight, several tracks took off and were being streamed in the millions, gaining the rapper massive attention for his often-downcast songs that combined vocal hooks and rhymes about hardship written while he was in jail.
There’s no reason to really talk about that stuff. It just came from thinking about trying to be mature and putting myself in a better headspace. People look up to me, so if they feel like that’s what I think is cool, they’ll think it’s cool. There’s no reason to preach it like it’s cool because I know it’s not cool. So me saying something that I know is not cool, just because other people think it is cool, is just feeding ignorance. It’s just going to keep the same trend. And who knows? I can’t put myself in the exact same headspace as before, but rapping could have been influencing my bad decisions and I wasn’t noticing. Somebody has to make that change and make that difference. I’m not saying that I don’t talk about shit in my music. I do. But I like to get in interviews and talk serious about what’s really in my head, besides the fun shit and the stupid shit.
Listening deeper, that fatalism has always been there in Tjay’s music. The gravitas isn’t in the sound; it’s in what he’s saying: Bodies drop all the time, I don’t feel nothing.” Tjay is young, and he sounds young, his voice half-cracking as his cadences blur the line between flow and melody. But he’s got dimension. And if he can come up with more songs that hit people the way Pop Out” just hit me, then he’s going places.
Inspired by artists like Usher and Michael Jackson, the rapper has set himself apart with a ‘melodic rap’ sound used to colour incisive and autobiographical accounts of his experiences in the Bronx. Originally crafting his songs on his phone and computer, in 2018, he won first place in a Coast 2 Coast LIVE NYC competition which gained him the attention of a major label, and the rest is history. Fans can catch Lil Tjay on tour with fellow rapper Lil Mosey all throughout 2019: be on the lookout for his upcoming projects, which he provides updates on through his active Instagram and Twitter accounts.
The rapper grew up in the South Bronx and describes his neighborhood as diverse,” evidenced by his knack for dipping in and out of Spanish — a language he can’t fluently speak, but one he picked up from friends. On record, his voice is a teenaged chirp, moving in and out of half-sung verses and hooks smoothed by Auto-Tune. Stylistically, he’s an offshoot of another Bronx native, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, who only broke into the popular consciousness in 2016 (and at 23 is barely out of his teens himself). His success is emblematic of how fast rap moves now, with a dramatically increased rate of influence between young artists. But where A Boogie often plays the role of the scorned lover in his music, Tjay operates in a less defined emotional space.
I got them tucked. I used a couple, but I can’t even say for which songs. I’ve written so many songs that I don’t know which ones are literally from jail. I have the notebook in the crib with songs I haven’t even record yet. You know what I’m going to do? Later in my career, I want to go back and sing those songs over. I want to put myself back in that headspace, just to make sure that I’m staying true to myself. I’m never going to have the same hunger. If I’m in this room right now, I can describe it perfectly. When I leave, I just basically have a memory of it. If I were to write down everything in this room and leave with it, I would be able to say later, Yo, this painting was blue, and her lips were red.” I’m not even going to have to think about it, because I already wrote it down. So, that’s how I think about holding the notebooks. Savor old memories.
On his own, Wale has now pushed four full-lengths into the top 10 on the all-genre tally, including a pair of chart-toppers. As a member of Maybach Music Group, which is a record label he’s signed to that also records and releases collaborative albums from time to time, he’s also snagged another three top 10s, bringing his career total to seven such wins.
I didn’t know who the fuck was leaking my songs. My songs were just popping up on everything and everybody was laughing about it like, Yo, I got the unreleased Lil Tjay.” So I’m like, Aight, I got some more heat. I don’t give a fuck if y’all are leaking it. I’m going to keep dropping more shit.” So I named the song Leaked” and put the cover art as a leaked song.
The rapper, a native of the Bronx, began releasing music on SoundCloud in 2017, when he was just 16. He signed with Columbia Records after it noticed Brothers” had amassed millions of streams on SoundCloud.
Down from second place (where it began last frame) to third is Summer Walker’s debut album Over It, which performs extremely well in its second stint. Behind her comes DaBaby’s recent champion Kirk at No. 4.
The second-highest-ranking new release that begins its run on the Billboard 200 inside the highest tier comes from Lil Tjay, a rapper who only rose to prominence recently. The hip-hop musician’s debut album True 2 Myself opens at No. 5 with 45,000 equivalent units, 1,000 of which are actual sales. Just a few months ago, Lil Tjay landed his first-ever appearance on the chart when his mixtape F.N lifted to No. 38, narrowly entering the top 40 region.
The site says that Almighty had been shopping with friends when Lil Tjay, 17, and his friends showed up. The two groups got into some verbal sparring before everything turned physical. On his Instagram page, Tjay goes by the moniker, Prince of New York.” The rapper is a native of The Bronx.
Lil Tjay has now appeared on the Hot 100 only a few times, but not with any songs featured on True 2 Myself, at least not yet. When the tally refreshes, he may score a few placements thanks to strong streaming numbers.
Tjay continues to ride the wave today with his newest offering, Hold On”. The track follows his F.N EP from August and sees the Bronx native in a sentimental mood.
Tione Merritt is 17, and his rise over the last year has been fueled by pure youth and unfiltered instinct. To him, Drake and Meek Mill are elder statesmen, the way those rappers looked at Jay-Z or Biggie when they were growing up. If you’re over 25, Lil Tjay probably thinks you’re old, too.
At just 18 years old, hip-hop artist Lil Tjay has already proclaimed himself The Prince of New York The numbers might just back him up, too; most of his singles have at least 25 million Spotify streams each, with his most popular Brothers” nabbing over 63 million. That’s all on top of his star feature on this year’s Polo G hit Pop Out” and scheduled performance at the Big Apple edition of Rolling Loud Festival next month.
I just wanted to show my fans my personality, and let them know that I’m still a regular person. With some artists, you don’t see too much of how their life is. You just hear the music and see pictures. I wanted to open up to them a little bit.
Likewise, on the hook to Hold On,” he laments that his broski servin’ time, he been gone for so long,” and unlike imitators like Tecca, Tjay’s biography supports the references to his gritty street tales. A future project on which Tjay delves more deeply into the circumstances of those narratives, employing more storytelling and more varied flow, might be a project that truly sets him apart. For now, though, he has the bearing of a star in the making: A compelling backstory, a knack for picking catchy (if slightly repetitive) beats, a gift for penning inescapable choruses and hooks, and the self-possessed confidence to put it all together into one, marketable package. As long as he remains true to himself, his originality will eventually become undeniable.
His mother’s favorite artists (Usher, Michael Jackson) taught him melody. Today, that melody is the 17-year-old’s gift as well as a catalyst for his embryonic hip-hop stardom. To hear the rhyme rookie’s early succession of rap hits is to experience aqua flows and stark hooks as addictive as Instagram’s discovery page. A closer listen offers the biography of a kid who survived adult sins and consequences before he was old enough to drive.
It’s been 12 hours since the release of his debut album True 2 Myself, and Bronx native Lil Tjay and his nine friends are still recovering from the celebratory night before.
Every episode of Open Mike Eagle’s new Comedy Central show The New Negroes ends with a rap-video kicker, and they’re always textually rich and fun to think about. But they’ve all worked really well as rap songs, too. And this one, with OME and Little Brother veteran Phonte stunting on each other’s level of cultural awareness, is the best one yet.
Tjay clarifies that he’s merely talking about people outside of his generation. Given that rap generations in the streaming era cycle in and out about every 18 months, conservatively, that helps explain. Still, the realization of how young Tjay really is lingers. He shields his mouth, squirms and answers in short, clipped sentences, just like any teenager — albeit one in crystal-crusted Gucci sneakers.