An Artist’s Breakthrough: Lil Tjay

Dawsyn Perry, writer

Lil Tjay, one of multiple breakout hip-hop artists of 2019, released his first full-length album, “True 2 Myself,” on October 11th of this year.


This being his first studio album, Lil Tjay’s goal was to unleash his emotions and let the world know exactly who he is.


Earlier in 2019, Lil Tjay caught the break of a lifetime and got to be featured on popular artist Polo G’s hit single, “Pop Out.” This opportunity would not be wasted, as Lil Tjay was able to get name recognition through this collaboration.


The feature created anticipation for “True 2 Myself” and allowed the album to succeed as soon as it was dropped.


The album includes multiple styles of rap as seen in the quickness and fluidity of “Hold On.” This is one of many tracks on the album that Lil Tjay discusses his speedy and well-deserved rise to stardom. With lyrics like “I think it’s time to shine, I been waitin’ so long” as well as the breakdown of the hardships he has faced throughout his life, it’s difficult to take away all that Lil Tjay has worked for.


The artist also shows his awareness of his old lifestyle disappearing. In “Mixed Emotions,” Lil Tjay explains he’s not someone who will be reckless with his new status, despite having many temptations from the rapidly growing hip hop industry.


Perhaps the most impactful song on the album, “No Escape” talks about Lil Tjay’s dark upbringing, from gang ran neighborhoods to false charges and accusations pressed against him.


Senior Brandon Randolph, 17, first heard of Lil Tjay from his feature in “Pop Out,” but ultimately felt like he was able to connect with the artist on his track “No Escape.”


“Listening to him tell his story, including all of the adversity he had to face, really made me appreciate the talented young artist, as well as others who might be challenged with similar situations,” Randolph said.


If the expression of himself wasn’t enough to bring in new fans such as Randolph, the inclusion of well known artists Lil Baby, Lil Durk, and Lil Wayne were surely prepared to. People love having familiarity in their music, and this was a surefire way to lead fans of those artists into some of Lil Tjay’s work.


With his very new name recognition gained earlier in the year, as well as collaborations with more popular artists, Lil Tjay was able to show off his true talent and tell his story. “True 2 Myself” was more than a studio album; rather, it was an introduction of what’s to come for Lil Tjay’s growing fanbase and a reason to keep an eye out for the name.