Who is Lil Tjay? Everything You Need To Know

Lil Tjay

Born in the Bronx, Tione Jayden Merritt, professionally known as Lil Tjay, catapulted to fame with his 2017 hit “Resume.” Signing with Columbia Records led to his debut album “True 2 Myself” in 2019, reaching Billboard 200’s top 5. His subsequent work, including the mixtape “State of Emergency,” showcased New York drill music.

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The release of “Destined 2 Win” in 2021 brought his highest-charting single, “Calling My Phone,” featuring 6lack. In 2023, his collaboration “Gangsta Boo” with Ice Spice and his third studio album “222” highlighted his evolving artistry.

Profile Details
  • Birth name: Tione Jayden Merritt
  • Stage name: Lil Tjay/ Trench Kid
  • Date of birth: 30th April 2001
  • Place of birth: Bronx, New York, United States
  • Age: 20 years old (as of 2021)
  • Zodiac sign: Taurus
  • Ethnicity: African-American
  • Education: Bronx Dance Academy
  • Occupation: Rapper, singer
  • Years active: 2017 – present
  • Genres: Hip hop, trap, R&B, drill
  • Record label: Columbia Records
  • Height: 5 ft 9 in
  • Weight: 67 kg
  • Hair colour: Black
  • Eye colour: Dark brown
  • Sexual orientation: Straight
  • Girlfriend: Lala Baptiste
  • Lil Tjay’s Instagram: @liltjay
  • Twitter: @liltjay
  • Facebook: @LilTjay
  • TikTok: @liltjay
  • Net worth: $600,000
  • Nationality: American
Who is Lil Tjay?

Tione Jayden Merritt, known professionally as Lil Tjay, is an American rapper who gained recognition in 2017 with his song “Resume,” later securing a deal with Columbia Records after the success of his song “Brothers.” His debut studio album, True 2 Myself, released in 2019, debuted at number 5 on the Billboard 200.

In 2020, he released the mixtape State of Emergency, featuring drill artists from New York City. His second studio album, Destined 2 Win, came out in 2021, including the hit single “Calling My Phone” featuring 6lack, his highest-charting song to date. In 2023, Lil Tjay released “Gangsta Boo” with Ice Spice and dropped his third studio album, 222, in July.

Early life

Raised in the Fordham neighborhood of the Bronx, New York City, by a single mother, Tione Jayden Merritt grew up with two younger siblings and is of Ghanaian and Jamaican descent. Describing himself as the problematic child, Merritt often found himself in trouble through petty robberies and school fights, leading to his arrest for robbery at 15 and a year-long sentence in a youth detention center.

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It was during this time he began to write raps, including “Resume,” which he later released on SoundCloud. Merritt also pays tribute to his childhood friend, Smelly, who was fatally stabbed in August 2016, in several of his songs.


Lil Tjay, began releasing music on SoundCloud in 2016, gaining early attention with his song “Resume.” His performance at the NYC All Ages Edition of Coast 2 Coast LIVE in March 2018 led to a record deal with Columbia Records after the success of his single “Brothers.” In 2018, his recognition grew with “None of Your Love,” sampling Justin Bieber’s “Baby,” and by the end of the year, he had multiple tracks with over a million plays on SoundCloud.

His debut EP “No Comparison” came out in 2018, followed by his debut album “True 2 Myself” in 2019, peaking at number 5 on the US Billboard 200. In 2020, he released the EP “State of Emergency,” focusing on New York City’s drill music scene, and in 2021, his second studio album “Destined 2 Win” was released, including “Calling My Phone,” his highest-charting single.

In 2022, Merritt teased new music including “In My Head,” released “Beat the Odds” detailing his recovery from a near-fatal shooting, and announced his EP “Strictly 4 My Fans.” In 2023, he revealed his third studio album “222,” leading with singles “June 22nd” and “Project Walls,” and featured artists like Summer Walker and The Kid LAROI, showcasing his continued evolution and resilience in the music industry.

What happened to Lil Tjay?

Lil Tjay was critically injured in a shooting during an attempted robbery in Edgewater, New Jersey, on June 22, 2022, leading to emergency surgery at Hackensack University Medical Center; another victim was also injured but in stable condition.

Mohamed Konate was arrested and charged with attempted murder and armed robbery, while two associates with Tjay at the time faced and later had weapons charges dropped; Tjay faced no charges. Despite initial concerns about his condition, Tjay updated fans on August 24, 2022, about his recovery, promising a strong return, and released “Beat the Odds” on August 26, reflecting on surviving the shooting.

Lil Tjay was arrested in the Bronx on January 16, 2023, during a traffic stop while en route to film with Ice Spice; a handgun found in the vehicle led to his charge for weapon possession, with a court date set for February 14, the outcomes of which remain unspecified.

His attorney contended the firearm didn’t belong to Merritt and argued the search was illegal, asserting Merritt was merely a passenger in a legally parked car. Additionally, in June 2023, Merritt and director Fakedell’s film crew faced arrest over a firearm presented during a music video shoot, which witnesses argued was merely a prop.

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Lil Tjay’s songs

Some of his famous songs include:

  • Calling My Phone
  • Sex Sounds
  • Gang Gang
  • Love Hurts
  • F.N
  • Brothers
  • Move On
  • Resume
  • Mood Swings
  • Run It Up
  • Pop Out
  • Ruthless
  • Losses
  • Zoo York
  • Headshot
  • Life Changed
  • One Take
  • Leaked
  • Born 2 Be Great
  • Hold On
  • Goat
  • Ice Cold
  • Nuf Said
  • Part of the Plan
  • Decline
  • Misunderstood
  • Shoot for the Stars
  • Post To Be
  • Forever Pop
  • Slow Down
  • War
  • Hood Rich
  • Catch on My Back
  • Top of My Game
  • Take the Blame
  • With Them

Lil Tjay’s albums and EPs

Since 2019, he has released two albums and EPs. They include:

  • Destined 2 Win (2021)
  • True 2 Myself (2019)
  • F.N (2019)
  • State of Emergency (2020)
Is Lil Tjay dating anyone?

Lil Tjay appears to be single as he hasn’t disclosed any current relationships, though he sparked dating rumors with rapper Ice Spice in February 2023 after gifting her an expensive watch. Ice Spice, however, clarified they’re just friends, despite their collaboration on “Gangsta Boo.”

Tjay has been linked to Chinese Kitty, Rubi Rose, and Lala Baptiste in the past. He and Lala Baptiste, a model who rose to fame on Instagram, were in a relationship confirmed through social media interactions and her appearance in his music video. The couple experienced ups and downs, with Baptiste addressing breakup rumors in March 2021, advising fans to “stay in their lane” regarding their personal issues, and despite further dating drama in 2022, Tjay, focusing on his career, has no children.

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