• Shante Collier-McDermott

Why Lil Tjay - "F.N" Solidifies His Place As One Of The New Front-Runners In Melodic Rap (REVIEW)

Lil Tjay releases his 2nd official project in the form of F.N. A combination of some of his earlier singles and some more newer songs, at 6 tracks long. F.N is the EP that essentially packages together Tjay's biggest hits so far

The 18yo Bronx rapper first took Soundcloud by storm, becoming a regular feature in the platforms Top 50 Chart and has braced many Ones To Watch lists since first breaking into the scene 2017. Publicised by the likes of Pitchfork, Hypebeast and Rolling Stone - F.N has come a great time for Tjay.

This EP follows on from his debut EP No Comparison, Lil Tjay has since worked with the likes of French Montana, YNW Melly, Tory Lanez and most notably Polo G who he collaborated with on viral track "Pop Out" - the single peaked at no.11 in the Billboard Hot 100, making for both rappers biggest song to date.

F.N is 6 tracks long and calls on a sole feature from Jay Critch. Solo songs "Brothers" and "Goat" were first released over a year ago and racked up several millions of streams each on Soundcloud. "Brothers" is reflective and sees him talk about the grind, getting locked up and has a darker theme with the hook touching on "feeling nothing". Nonetheless it manages to be both raw and inspiring at the same time as despite his hardships, he's dreaming big. "Goat" is similar in theme but more upbeat and subsequently more of a feel good song.

"Leaked" was also released a while back and just like the name sees Tjay talk about people trying to leak his music, this was a single that put him on a lot of fans radar's. He manages to cleverly intertwine an element of story telling in his songs, its subtle and helps in maintaining the replay value. In this one he mentions signing a deal with Sony which was clear turning point for the young rapper, this success in a roundabout way is what lead to people wanting to try and leak his songs. Because of his melodic style and apparent Bronx accent, off the back off this song, Tjay was compared fellow Bronx artist A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie - he and A Boogie have both cited people like Michael Jackson and Drake as their influences so the closeness in sound could very much be attributed to that and the various other things they have in common.

Moving onto the most recent pre-EP tracks; "Ruthless ft. Jay Critch" and "LANESWITCH". Both released this year, "Ruthless" sees him link up with another fellow New York rapper, Jay Critch for a hit that's since amassed a joint total of 24million views on the Youtube audio and video. Tjay approached this one with some fresher flows and it works well as both rappers bounce off eachother. It's a head-bopper from the onset, the beat produced by Relly Made provides the perfect foundation. "LANESWITCH" is headbopping in the same way, it again exhibits a formula that seems to work for Tjay - often isolating his bars or breaking them up differently pre-hook, allowing the hook itself to hit just that lil bit more.

"F.N", the title track. It's hard-hitting and grittier than the rest of the EP. Tjay flows smoothly from rapping to getting more sing-y at parts, just as hes shown he's able to on other songs. However because of the subject matter the conviction behind this one is obvious in a good way.

Although many of the songs from F.N were not new, putting them altogether gave Lil Tjay a chance to showcase the work he's been putting in, in the last couple years. It's also impressive that he has become a staple in many music conversations with only 2 official projects out, it can only be a positive thing as it leaves so much space for growth. Earlier veterans like Drake, Young Thug, Lil Durk and A Boogie paved the way for melodic rap and names like Lil Tjay, Lil Tecca and Calboy have succesfully put their own spin of what could be soon considered a sub-genre of rap music.

Rating: 60/100

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