Artist’s Spotlight: Lil Tjay


Tionne Jayden Merritt, better known as Lil Tjay, is a 19-year-old rapper representing New York. Born in The Bronx, Tjay began rapping at the age of 15 while incarcerated at a youth detention center.

Lil Tjay first gained minor buzz in 2017 with the SoundCloud successful single, “Resume”. A year later, he competed in a competition called Coast 2 Coast Live NYC All Ages Edition, where he placed first. His performance during the competition led to him getting the attention of an A&R from Columbia Records. Soon after, Lil Tjay released the single “Brothers” and the success of the single ultimately led him to sign with Columbia Records. On October 11th, 2019, after a string of viral singles, Lil Tjay released his debut album, ‘True 2 Myself’. The album was successful, peaking at number 11 on the US Billboard 200 chart.

In early 2020, Lil Tjay reached the Billboard Hot 100 again with his single “20/20”, which peaked at number 94 on the chart. In May of 2021, he released the EP ‘State of Emergency’, which included seven songs and features from several New York Rappers such as Pop Smoke and Fivio Foreign. Later that year in August, Lil Tjay was included on XXL’s 2020 Freshman Class. In October, Lil Tjay hinted at a new project on Twitter. On April 2nd, 2021, he released his second studio album ‘Destined 2 Win’. The album stood 21 songs long and included features from 6LACK, Polo G, Fivio Foreign, Saweetie, Tyga, Toosii, Offset, and Moneybagg Yo and included the chart topping single “Calling My Phone”.

Over his career span, Lil Tjay has released a total of 2 albums —- ‘True 2 Myself’ and ‘Destined 2 Win’ and one mixtape— ‘State of Emergency’. Lil Tjay’s music is available on all music streaming platforms.