Lil Tay, the explosive 9-year-old social media star with a checkered past, is coming back to television with a new show titled Life With Lil Tay. Slated to premiere July 13th on a new on-demand network called Zeus, the docuseries is essentially the next phase in Tay’s semi-awkward attempt to rebrand. She started by removing all the ‘offensive’ content from her social media accounts.
For those who aren’t in the know, rapper Lil Tay is “the youngest flexer of the century” and rose to fame by shouting obscenities, making it rain money, and sitting in expensive automobiles ⏤ basically, all while appropriating black culture. Moreover, her antics got her mom, a Vancouver based real-estate agent, fired from her job after she let Tay film a video inside her boss’s Mercedes Benz.
“I want to make music,” Tay can be heard saying to a producer in the video.
Before that, the little girl is seen in dance classes during which the instructor tells her that all of the energy that she was using to put in her Instagram videos could be channeled into something more productive and healthy like dance. While it’s really cool to see a kid, who is largely blameless in this whole situation, be given the space to repair an image that was thoughtlessly crafted and manipulated by people who should be way more aware than her, one has to think about the message it sends.
The clip from the new show recently aired and opens up with this Behind The Music-style montage of Lil Tay’s least offensive Instagram scrappings and soon after it becomes clear that this may just be another gimmick. Lil Tay just gets to do a quick palatable rebrand once the allure of her black impersonation wears off while actual black kids still get the police called on them for mowing the lawn? Actual black kids don’t turn a profit by putting on a show of blackness. Actual black kids, with crazy amounts of talent, get two minutes in the sun before everyone forgets about them. Yet, Lil Tay has just become a pop culture fixture to perpetually gaze at as she simultaneously embodies the literal power that non-black people can wield by “acting black.” She gets to rebrand while actual black kids are just stuck being black all day every day. But hey, the video shows her saying that she’s “apologized to everyone [she] offended.” So everyone, just look the other way, nothing to see here.
While it’s not really a thing one can apologize for, especially as they continue to turn a profit off of an image that harms black children each time they use it, it’s best to perpetually remind yourself that Lil Tay is just a child. It’s doubly daunting that there are actual adults behind her orchestrating this whole thing. If something is going to unnerve you, that should be it.