It seems like only yesterday when every once and awhile a little Asian girl, just the age of 9, would pop up on our feeds to tell us how much a piece of shit we were.
In what one could assume is satire, Lil Tay’s Instagram showcases her cursing out whoever happens to mistakenly come upon her videos, using slang she clearly has no familiarity with.
The flex is indeed strong, though. She constantly shows off the most lavish houses and luxurious cars and stays throwing wads of cash.
Some of her favorite catchphrases? Try: “My toilet costs more than your rent,” “I’m the youngest flexer of the century,” and “I’m out here flexing on y’all broke-ass haters,” just to name a few.
Part of the appeal is all the questions that naturally come after watching one of her videos. Where are her parents? How did she get so much money? Why does she talk like that? How can you mute her off your timeline?
Tay’s acts eventually landed her viral fame. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about? Clout chasing.
Following the steps of most viral acts, Tay later revealed that she started rapping at the age of seven and that she is inspired enough to drop new tracks on a daily basis — of course. She’s even reportedly working with rapper Chief Keef.
With two million followers on Instagram, it’s safe to say the act has done her well. Hate it or love it, Lil Tay has become a part of pop culture.
She even found herself fighting alongside fellow children of the internet Woah Vicky and Danielle “Bhad Bhabie” Bregoli in what looked like a nightmare crossover episode staring everything wrong about the internet.
Lil Tay’s fifteen minutes was midstride when the internet found there was something to sniff out.
In May it was reported that Tay’s mother, Angela Tian, was fired from her job as a Vancouver real estate agent for her involvement in these viral videos.
According to Global, a Canadian news outlet, Tian resigned from her position as a realtor after it had become clear that she was using her boss’ cars in Lil Tay’s videos.
According to David Yang, the managing partner of Pacific Evergreen Realty, Lil Tay’s mother had asked if it was alright for her children to take photos with his Mercedes 500 SL, to which he initially did not see a problem with.
It wasn’t until he realized that Tian was filming her daughter in inappropriate Instagram videos that he felt “taken advantage of”.
The internet caught wind of the predicament and went wild. Suddenly, Tay had been “exposed”.
that lil tay mess of a child got exposed for using someone else’s loft in her “i’m rich” videos bc the owner saw them and complained to the real estate company her mom worked for and her mom had to quit her job. i cANT bREAthe
— mae ⛓ (@ruinthethrill) May 18, 2018
With Lil Tay exposed as a fraud, does that now make me the Youngest Flexer of the Century?
— MEATSPIN.EDU (@selfdfens) May 11, 2018
okayyyyyy so now that lil tay has been exposed as a fraud who used her mom’s real estate listings as her houses and mom’s boss’ cars as her own…….imagine finding out your bum ass employee’s 9-year-old daughter was KICKING YOUR ROLLS ROYCE?????? pic.twitter.com/LOaZorM9Fy
— 27_male_nyc (@25_male_nyc) May 18, 2018
The narrative of a 9-year-old that was appropriating culture, dropping the N-bomb and straight flexing with all this fraudulent money was too rich a storyline for many.
Pettiness is irresistible and Tay’s turn of unfortunate events put her in the lion’s den of social media. Days following the news she wasn’t who she said she was, tables turned and she became the target.
Completely forgetting she was a little girl, trolls began reporting her videos on IG, causing them to take it down, flooding her comments, and some guy even posted a video of him running up on Lil Tay in the street, saying: “When a real n*** pull up, they nervous,” in clear intimidation.
When u having a bad day and u ain’t tryna flex no more pic.twitter.com/nQEQt2k3XY
— DJ Akademiks (@IamAkademiks) May 19, 2018
But should we feel sorry for Lil Tay? After all, she was the one flexing on our lives and telling us how good for nothing we are for the sake of likes on Instagram. She brought this on herself.
Except, she didn’t. Come to find out — her brother has been feeding her scripts the entire time, forcing her to live out his failed YouTube celebrity dream.
In a disturbing video that’s been circulating online, you can hear her older brother telling her what to say, and later Tay getting upset at her mom messing up her performance.
Lil Tay being controlled by his brother "Rycie" aka Jason Tian (@icyrycie) on video.
This is considered verbal abuse and needs to stop. pic.twitter.com/5WctU641iN
— PrimeX – Fortnite Future (@TimePrimeX) May 21, 2018
Confirming the suspicions was media personality DJ Akademiks who went as far as to call Lil Tay a “hostage” on the show Everyday Struggle on Complex yesterday.
“Her brother, who is 16, 17 — a failed YouTuber — has been manipulating her and using her as a mouthpiece to be a culture vulture. Lil Tay has racked up a ton of hate now she getting exposed. People think it’s a 9-year-old behind it, but in reality, it’s a bad mom and a brother who is manipulative that we should be blamning.”
This clout chase comes with a twist. According to Lil Tay, she’s just trying to “make her mom proud” as she says in one post full of tears. The sad part is that none of us know to which extent.
Maybe Lil Tay is in compliance, maybe her brother is a complete evil mastermind, or maybe the effects of social media on the younger generations is a lot deeper than we’re paying attention — none of the above is clear.
What is clear? There is a hustle attempting to be made. Going viral on the internet has been proven successful and lucrative if you do it right and Lil Tay, or her brother, are just one of many trying to crack the code.
If you can’t emphasize with her possible exploitation surely you can relate to the spirit of the come-up, even if it does hurt your feelings.
Lil Tay is a by-product of Boonk Gang, Fat Boy SSE, 6IX9INE, Bhad Barbie and the list goes on. Controversy sells and our society is going to keep buying it. You cannot spite those trying to cash in if you don’t spite the ones indulging.
Like every chase, the clout one ends, too. Let’s just hope it does amicably for all parties involved.