And by “us”…I mean Y’ALL.
I legit had never heard of “Lil Tay” until like a month ago when she popped up on The Shade Room in a video where she was defending some little girl named “Woah Vicky” and they were about to fight the Cash Me Outside girl also known as “Bhad Bhabie.”
I was actually annoyed just typing that sentence because what is this nonsense and why do we care???
I find out through the comments on TSR that this Lil Tay girl is 9 years old… so “WHY is she on camera cussing up a storm, calling people b-tches, and holding money up to her ear?,” I thought to myself. But, you know what? That was none of my business. I had already heard of and been fed up with the Woah Vicky and Bhad Bhabie girl getting clout from appropriating black culture, and I was NOT about to give this next Little Tay monster any attention.
Fast forward to this past week and this little Asian girl is making national news. (and YES, in this case, her race matters.) Come to find out, all that money and the big mansions and fancy cars she’s been stuntin with on the internet that’s gotten her nearly 2 million followers on Instagram was all a lie.
The Blast reports that Lil Tay’s mother worked for Pacific Evergreen Realty, a real estate company in Vancouver. Her mom’s boss told a Canadian news outlet that Lil Tay had been using his Bentley and Mercedes 500 SL in her Instagram videos pretending she owned them… and HER MOM WAS THE ONE FILMING y’all.
Is this your QUEEN???
I wouldn’t even care so much if she wasn’t making headlines on the likes of Vice, XXL, CapitalXtra and the list goes on and on. “21 Facts you need to know about ‘Money Way’ Rapper Lil Tay,” is a headline.
I even wrestled back and forth with writing this post because I didn’t want to be the one to give her an ounce more of attention but gotdammit, someone has to start keeping it a buck!
The root of my issue is not that this little girl is problematic and has gone viral for it, because that doesn’t surprise me in today’s age where we glorify all the “lil” so-and-sos that dye their hair, do drugs and spit out whatever hot take comes to mind to get attention.
My problem is that cultural appropriation, imitation, and affiliation seem to only act as a one-way street when it comes to who gets to do it and who accepts it and who benefits from it. Bhad Bhabie has a record deal y’all…for cussing her momma out on national television? Woah Vicky wears cornrows, colored lace front wigs and says the N-word freely. But when is the last time you saw a black kid singing country music or dressing like a rock and roll star and the white community welcoming them with open arms? Lil Tay has pictures and videos with Chief Keef and Lil Pump.. and all three of these little girls consider themselves rappers.
Why? Because we’ve allowed it.
And I am never here to knock anyone’s hustle. But I am here to knock any hustle that involves jacking our culture and selling it back to us (cue the Kardashians).
I don’t know where the future of hip-hop is headed, but if these are the faces we are looking toward to lead the game, then you can count me out. Take a look at who we put our likes and clicks behind, because you think it doesn’t matter until a “Lil Tay” creeps out the woodwork.
And THAT is advice you should take.