In the vibrant landscape of American hip-hop, one name that has steadily risen to prominence is Tione Jayden Merritt, better known as Lil Tjay. Born on April 30, 2001, in the South Bronx, New York City, Lil Tjay has carved his niche as a rapper, singer, and songwriter.
From his breakthrough with “Resume” in 2017 to the recent release of his third studio album, “222,” in July 2023, his journey in the music industry has been nothing short of remarkable.
Lil Tjay’s Early Success and Breakthrough
Lil Tjay’s ascent began in 2017 with the track “Resume,” setting the stage for his breakthrough hit, “Brothers,” which secured him a record deal with Columbia Records. The year 2019 saw the release of his debut studio album, “True 2 Myself,” debuting at number 5 on the Billboard 200. Following this success, he dropped the mixtape “State of Emergency” in 2020, featuring exclusively New York City drill artists.
The pinnacle of Lil Tjay’s career came with his second studio album, “Destined 2 Win,” released in 2021. The album included the hit single “Calling My Phone” featuring 6lack, which stands as his highest-charting song to date. The rapper continued to make waves in 2023 with the release of “Gangsta Boo” alongside fellow New York artist Ice Spice and his third studio album, “222.”
Lil Tjay’s Net Worth
As of now, Lil Tjay’s net worth is estimated to be around $600 thousand. Despite his relatively young age, his impact on the music scene and chart performances have translated into a commendable financial standing. This net worth reflects not only his talent but also the business acumen that has allowed him to navigate the competitive music industry.
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Lil Tjay Legal Hurdles and Controversies
However, Lil Tjay’s journey hasn’t been without its share of challenges. In January 2023, he faced legal troubles when he was arrested in the Bronx during a traffic stop. The arrest, allegedly on his way to film with fellow Bronx rapper Ice Spice, involved the discovery of a handgun in his vehicle. Lil Tjay was charged with weapon possession, leading to legal proceedings that involved disputes over the legality of the search.
In June 2023, Lil Tjay faced another legal hiccup when he and his film crew were arrested for a firearm used during the shooting of a music video. The incident, captured on video, sparked debates over the authenticity of the firearm as a prop.
Lil Tjay’s Artistic Journey and Influences
Rooted in his Bronx upbringing, Lil Tjay is recognized for his melodic rap style, often incorporating Auto-Tune in his songs. Drawing comparisons to fellow New York rapper A Boogie wit da Hoodie, he credits his musical influences to Drake, Meek Mill, and Usher. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Lil Tjay revealed that his time spent in prison significantly contributed to his songwriting prowess.
Beyond the studio, Lil Tjay has graced live stages, accompanying Seattle rapper Lil Mosey on a nationwide tour in 2019. He has also performed at major festivals like Rolling Loud, sharing the stage with the likes of Migos, Travis Scott, and Kid Cudi. Notably, in September 2022, a few months after a shooting incident, Lil Tjay made a triumphant return to the stage for his Rolling Loud performance in New York.