Q&A: Up-and-coming rapper Lil Tjay shares his creative process and inspiration


Rahul Lal

18-year-old rapper and songwriter from the Bronx, Lil Tjay Performed at Ace of Spades in Downtown Sacramento on Wednesday Feb. 5, 2020.

Garry Singh

Tione Jayden Merritt, an 18-year-old rapper and songwriter from the Bronx, is making a name for himself as Lil Tjay in the rap industry.

Ace Of Spades hosted Lil Tjay for his “True 2 Myself” tour Wednesday. The show featured performances by Lil Tjay and Bubba Stacks. The tour started on Jan. 30 in Seattle.

Sacramento was the third stop on the tour out of 24 cities he will be traveling to.

Lil Tjay’s album True 2 Myself was released on Oct. 11 2019 and has gone RIAA certified gold in less than three months. The album features Lil Wayne, Lil Baby and Lil Durk. Lil Tjay has had multiple gold and platinum records. 

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His album hit the Billboard Hot 100 and has grown his Instagram following and YouTube views by millions within the last year. 

The State Hornet spoke with Lil Tjay and talked about his music.

Question: What aspects of your music makes you unique as a young artist that you think your fans love about you? 

Answer: I feel like I really talk about shit I go through or I’ve been through and I feel like it’s really hard felt. I really talk about real situations and real shit I had to deal with. It’s not like made up or nothing. I try to have a real connection with the people like I’m singing to them. I try to imagine myself really talking to people when I’m making records. So, maybe that stands out.

Q: To the people who never heard your music before, what type of vibes and messages do you want them to feel when listening to your music?

A: If you’ve never heard my music, you probably should go tune in. But I’ll probably say, my music overall, any mood you’re  in, you could find a song for it that’s going to help brighten your day. That’s just one way of describing it.

Q: What inspired you to do music?

A: I admired the lifestyle of how it looked on TV and social media and stuff like that. I said, “Alright, I think I might want to do this.”

Q: Your latest album “True 2 Myself” went gold in less than three months. What was your creative process when putting together that album? 

A: I was just making songs and when it came time to make the project, I didn’t make a lot of songs just for the project. I was just making songs and then I had so many songs and then I would pick from it and make one body of work and it all fell together and mold(ed) together.

Q: What advice would you give to a young up and coming artist because you are a young 18-year-old who made it out the game, so what advice would you give to a young rapper? 

Answer: If you really want to get somewhere in life, and this is for anybody who wants to do anything, just make sure you stick to it because anything  is really possible. Like, very, very possible. Anything is possible. Especially if you see somebody do it.