The Prince of New York is going Global
18-year-old rapper/songwriter Lil Tjay has seen one of the fastest rises to success in contemporary hip-hop. At just 18, the Bronx rapper has amassed a large dedicated global following. Tjay solidified this on November 21, 2019, by selling out Toronto’s REBEL concert venue.
The show itself had an aura of chaos from the get-go. Mosh pits ensued even before the opener, the general admission pit was filled to the brim, and the REBEL crowd seemed livelier than ever. All of this was a reflection of the anticipation to see Tjay.
At exactly 10 pm, when the lights dimmed and DJ Dre Black announced it was time for Lil Tjay to come on, the atmosphere of excitement immediately turned into joy. Opening his set to Hold On immediately set the tone for show; hard-hitters that were equally as melodic as they were mosh-inducing. The best way to describe his sonic presence would be piano-heavy street ballads.
Tjay’s stage presence was top-tier, however, it is also important to note that he carries a lot of substance as an artist – and he did not fail to reflect this on the stage. Songs such as One Take reflect Tjay’s storytelling ability, purposeful words, and willingness to speak upon several topics. During the show, this translated to the audience reciting his bars with him and being able to empathize with what this talented musician was saying, all whilst having a good time. It elevated the connection between himself and the audience which is something that high-performing musicians are keen on doing.
The rapper’s come up has seen him start as a local legend and shift into a global icon. Canada welcoming the artist with open arms absolutely crystallized this. Tjay noted it several times – not hiding his excitement of how well received he was during his first time ever performing in Canada. To top it all off, the Sony Music Canada Team surprised Tjay during his performance by presenting him with a plaque that showed all his platinum and gold achievements as of yet. It is safe to say that the world is ready for Lil Tjay’s sonic reign.
In terms of critiques, the stage production was a little lacklustre. Adjacent screens showed two different graphics of Lil Tjay which were nice compliments to his overall performance. However, the show lacked more interactive stage pieces – stage fog, theatrical smoke, interactive/moving set pieces, dynamic lighting, etc. Ultimately, it was just a stage with graphics. This is forgivable due to the fact that this is the 18-year-old’s first high budget headlining tour. The next time he comes around – which will definitely be at a larger venue – hopefully, the team ups their stage production.
Ultimately, Lil Tjay’s show was nothing short of a spectacular experience. The overall joyous atmosphere after the last song – which was indeed an encore – represented that fans spent their money well. At only 18, Lil Tjay performed to the calibre of a seasoned veteran.