Written by: Lisandro Chihuahua (Twitter: @Dro_lo_98)
Lil Tjay, a 17-year-old South Bronx rap artist, blew up from underground world from 2018 to 2019. He released songs like “Brothers”, “Resume”, and many more with over 10 million views on SoundCloud. The pain and the experiences that Lil Tjay reminisces through his lyrics is often criticized for sounding like Bronx rapper, A Boogie wit the Hood, who identify similar style. But Lil Tjay is conveying a different message. Reports say that in 2016, Lil Tjay was arrested at 15 for robbery and was sentenced to a year in a youth detention center. Coming from the Bronx, where rap roots originated, Lil Tjay style offsprings from other artist that influence his writing. According to Pitchfork, R&B artist that Lil Tjay mother would play around Lil Tjay would be artists like Micheal Jackson, Usher, R. Kelly, and many more. According to Billboard Hot 100, “F.N debuted at no. 90 for 8 weeks straight” The young artist gives the audience this feel of vibe of what’s it like for a young teenager going from a juvenile detention center to going back to an everyday life in the Bronx, where there is violence everyday.
Since the robbery, Lil Tjay’s song “F.N,” paints a picture to the listener of the reality when those that claim that there about that outlaw life. In the outlaw world, snitching is the action for outlaws to give up any information in any situation. When one does this, it results in a severe consequence, such as death. For Lil Tjay he sees the street life is not worth it, when it’s time for someone selfish to save their own end in the police report. This similar lyrical story can be also heard in Lil Tjay’s album True 2 Myself.
In the album, True 2 Myself features other rap artists like Jay Critch, Lil Wayne, Lil Baby, and many more. The first song “One Take”, starts off with this piano melody that sounds similar to his past songs that are a combination of these 2 songs called “Goat” and “Long Time”. But listening to “One Take”, Lil Tjay describes the listener’s ears to vision his situation on the rise of fame. From a little time being out of the juvenile center, Lil Tjay raps from his perspectives on the rise and the insecurity of trusting people in the rap industry. Knowing that most of the help and love that Lil Tjay is receiving is not a form of giving him an opportunity because labels will see Lil Tjay benefit towards the person or label in the rap industry. Knowing that in the past many artists, and even well-known djs that received negative feedback that made those folks less money and more for the manager or other issues as well. Lil Tjay goes at the fact that criticize him for sounding like A Boogie wit da Hoodie. He says, “They said I’m the new A Boogie, relax. I ain’t never try to copy your swag. I’m just tryna put my hood on the map” indicating that he’s rapping in his own way, just to represent which side of New York he is.
Few minutes in listening to the album, songs like “Post To Be”, “Decline”, ”Sex Sounds” and many other songs in the album give the audience the modern Bronx Bieber Flow. The vocal cords that gives Lil Tjay to rap in his own style of rapping about erotic and sensational stories in his music. The song “Decline” featuring Lil Baby, gives the listener this cali sunset melody sound flow. Lil TJay lyrics paints the picture of the song “Decline”, as this sexual R&B song as Lil TJay is talking to a girl in the context of the song. In the lyrics, he probably knows and wants to take this girl around the world with all the fame and success Lil TJay has. The way he expresses is like if he’s unstoppable and wants to research the level at being well-respected in the rap industry. In the song “Decline”, he raps “He might treat you better, however, this what you fail to remember
You know I’m stacking my cheddar, you know I be there whenever
I’m in L.A., what’s the vibe? This dope got me in the skies (Yeah)
So when you call me, don’t assume that I’ll be pressing decline”.
In the song “Sex Sounds”, it sounds like the modern day Justin Bieber with R.Kelly and T-Pain Auto-tune sound but in the rap context. Auto-tune is a way in music that makes artist voices sound different in the recording. The high auto-tune sound that comes off from the song “” sounds similar to influences from Justin Beiber. Who Lil Tjay says “”. The inspiration that lil Tjay help influence his music, paints the picture of Lil Tjay the modern day rap Bieber.
Lil Tjay also added some of his past viral songs like “Goat”, “Leaked” and many more that received over 10 million views on SoundCloud at the age of 17 years old. Lil Durk and Lil Wayne, who are well-respected artists in the rap industry selling millions of records every year in Billboard platforms. Songs like “Leaked” and “Brothers” that have received a significant replay online platforms. Lil Tjay himself at only of the start of his career that’s been taking off quickly. With remixes featured with Lil Durk of Chicago and Lil Wayne from New Orleans. Lil Durk’s feature on the “Brothers” remix, paints two different stories from a Chicago and Bronx perspective in the street life. With Lil Durk saying “My life changed fast, my homie turned to a rat. I’d rather be snake, that’s slatt” and Lil TJay saying, “I was innocent, they ain’t believe me. Ain’t no lie, I be seein’ illusions,” you can hear the similar topic of being betrayed in the past and in the come up of the rappers life changing and trusting companies or individuals.
True 2 Myself is Lil Tjay’s first debuted album’s in 2019 with hit to hit classics of the 18-year-old Bronx rapper. With features with respected rappers and songs that are lyrically hidden in the song in the sounds of the beats that most people don’t hear the story, Lil Tjay comes from out of a detention center to his life shifting to becoming the next uprising artist 2020 rap era. Melodies and catch tones that Lil Tjay raps in his lyrics is a significant feature in many of his songs on the album. It will at least get radio play and million of sound streams across the nation this weekend through next week. True 2 Myself is a classic album of the new era of rap that is on the rise to be heard in 2020.