Lil Tjay believes he’s the one to thank for kick-starting the current wave of Bronx drill artists. Taking to his Instagram Stories this week, the 20-year-old rapper explained why he thinks he should be credited for his influence and accused others of copying his style.
“You know what’s crazy? Listen to this one… if there was no Tjay, this Bronx drill shit, I don’t think it would be here right now, honestly,” he said. “If there was no Tjay, I don’t think Bronx drill would be here. ‘Cause I remember back in 2018 when a lot of n-ggas that was my age wasn’t even outside, period. I was smokin’ on n-ggas. I was outside, I was doin’ shit. N-ggas was lookin’ at me like I’m crazy. Who was doing what I was doing? I wanna know. ‘Cause it looks like a whole lot of imitations.”
He continued, “It’s beneath me to even be saying this, but you know, I just woke up thinking shit. Then again, I’m just sayin’, that was 2018. 2022… shit cool and fun and all but y’all n-ggas is hot. I don’t want no parts. Y’all can have it now. And I was the first rapper from the times to rap and never leave the trenches.”
Lil Tjay’s confidence is nothing new. During a 2019 interview with Complex, he crowned himself the King of New York without hesitation.
Fivio Foreign previously kicked off a Brooklyn drill debate in January 2021 after tweeting, “Don’t even ask me me who started Brooklyn drill.. Cuz it only 1 answer.. IDK wtf everybody else talkin bout.” The post prompted followers to bring up names such as Pop Smoke, Sheff G and 22Gz.
Lil Tjay dropped his debut album True 2 Myself in 2019 with features from Lil Baby, Lil Durk and Lil Wayne, debuting at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 chart with roughly 45,000 total album-equivalent units.
His second album Destined 2 Win, released in 2021, peaked in the same position but with around 62,000 album-equivalent units, with guest appearances from the likes of Polo G, Moneybagg Yo, Fivio Foreign, 6LACK, Saweetie, Tyga and Offset.