Rapper Lil Tjay In Surgery After New Jersey Shooting

Chart-Topping Rapper Lil Tjay in Surgery After New Jersey Shooting

Lil Tjay gets ambushed in New Jersey
Lil Tjay gets ambushed in New Jersey

Lil Tjay, a rapper who has been nominated for two Grammy Awards, underwent emergency surgery on June 22 following a shooting in northeastern New Jersey. TMZ reports that he is out of surgery as of 1 p.m. EST and is recovering, though he still isn’t out of the woods yet. The shooting of Lil Tjay is part of a grim uptick in violence that has affected rappers around the country in recent years, including artists like Drakeo the Ruler, Young Dolph, and Pop Smoke—who was a close friend and collaborator of Tjay’s. After Pop’s 2020 murder, Tjay released a somber tribute song called “Forever Pop” and expressed outrage over social media.

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NorthJersey.com reports that the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office released a statement indicating that two 22-year-olds were shot at a large shopping center near the Hudson River. The office later released a social media statement indicating that the shooting “does not appear to be [a] random act,” though it did not explicitly state this was the incident involving Tjay. Celebrities who have shown support for Tjay include his collaborators French Montana, The Kid Laroi, and Five Foreign; NBA star (and rapper) Miles Bridges; and 6ix9ine (who mocked the shooting in an Instagram comment).

After being released from jail in 2017, Tjay began taking music seriously and achieved mainstream success in 2018 with a pair of breakthrough singles: “Brothers” and “Leaked.” The young rapper has a unique gift for melody and can write infectious choruses, which combined with his delicate, higher-pitched voice earned him the nickname “the Bronx Justin Bieber” early in his career.

Since then, Tjay has been a ubiquitous presence in hip-hop, dominating the charts with collaborations like “Calling My Phone” with 6LACK and “Pop Out” with Polo G. He’s also released two top 10 albums, most recently 2021’s Destined 2 Win. In April, Tjay posted a note to his fans on social media, promising the release of an EP titled Strictly4MyFans and said he would be ramping up the pace of his releases this summer.

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