Viral social media star Lil Tay, who became famous at nine for her outrageous clips featuring her rapping and throwing around huge piles of cash, broke her silence Saturday with a music video and a series of Instagram Lives in which she played piano, acoustic guitar, and electric guitar.
Lil Tay, now 14, began promoting her reemergence last week, posting to her story that she would “expose the fuck out of everybody” at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday. Just before the specified time, Tay added a link to her bio for a music video, titled “Sucker 4 Green” a light dance track with a video whose theme, unsurprisingly, is cash and sports cars. At about 3:15, she launched the live, first showing off her classical skills on a grand piano, then playing an acoustic cover of the Eagles’ “Hotel California,” before finally strapping on a Eighties-styled electric guitar and playing along to Metallica’s “Master of Puppets.” Those in the comments were confused, though impressed.
Shortly after 3:30 she took a seat in front of the camera to speak publicly for the first time (not through representatives or quoted media interviews) since a now-deleted Instagram post declaring that she had died began circulating online last month.
In August, Lil Tay claimed her Instagram account was hacked and used to spread “jarring misinformation,” namely that she and her brother, 21-year-old Jason Tian, had died under mysterious circumstances. “I want to make it clear that my brother and I are safe and alive, but I’m completely heartbroken, and struggling to even find the right words to say,” Lil Tay told TMZ at the time.
The star has long appeared to have a contentious relationship with her father. In an interview with Insider at the time the news of Lil Tay’s alleged death began to circulate, Hope strangely declined to confirm or deny whether or not Lil Tay and her brother had died. And in 2018, Lil Tay’s account was scrubbed clean, save for a post on her Instagram stories that said “help.” However, around this time, the account was also used to share posts containing several allegations of abuse against her father.
In Saturday’s Live, Tay expanded on these claims, walking viewers through allegations of inappropriate behavior from her father, as well as more serious claims of neglect and abuse. She claimed that he had not been present in her life before her viral fame, and that he only came back because he wanted to “control” her and her money. (She appeared to show “receipts” for these allegations — texts between her mother and father, as well as emails and photographs — but they all appeared reversed in the camera.) She also stated that she believed he was behind the death hoax, as well as a crypto coin using her name that was set to go live the day after the rumor was posted to her account.
Hope, who practices law in Vancouver, Canada, did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but has repeatedly denied the claims, stating that his concerns were rooted in Angela and Jason Tian, her mother and brother, exploiting her. (Lil Tay and her mother have denied these allegations.) After a post on Tay’s Instagram account claimed that Hope was behind the death hoax, he told TMZ, “Everything stated is 100 percent false, and I trust that this should be obvious to anyone who knows me or the long history of absurd and untrue statements made by the various people who have controlled the Instagram account.”
In August, Tay’s account shared a statement from a firm called MacLean Law, which stated it had successfully acquired primary custody for Angela Tian, and that she had also been granted “sole day-to-day and final decision-making powers and responsibilities in the best interests of Tay Tian.” Hope, meanwhile, was ordered to submit monthly child support payments in addition to other expenses, plus retroactive child support owed dating back to 2014.
Despite fans’ interest in her family struggles, she appears eager to change the narrative. “I’m ready to move on,” she said at the end of the Live. “I’m done with this.”