Lil Tjay, Kid Laroi and a Pop Smoke tribute at First Ave

Pop Smoke
Lil Tjay

On Thursday night, New York native Lil Tjay brought his True 2 Myself tour to First Ave. This is his second trip to Minnesota as a headliner and his third visit overall.

While the 18-year old star is barely an adult, this hasn’t stopped him from making his rounds around the US and packing venues. Supporting him on his tour is another young artist, The Kid Laroi (a 16-year-old rapper/singer from Australia), as well as artist Big Havi.

Quality Opening Acts

The crowd was young and energetic, matching the characteristics of the artists they came to see.

BigHavi got their blood flowing early, entering the stage donning a vintage U of M hockey jersey; he preceded to take it off very quickly because of all the jumping around he was doing.

The Kid Laroi was somehow even more electric. Hr had the audience going crazy for his short 4-song set. At only 16, he has already worked with industry giants like Lyrical Lemonade, accumulated millions of views on Youtube, and recently released a track featuring rap phenom Lil Tecca. His rise has been nothing short of meteoric.

Pop Smoke
The Kid Laroi by Rees Winga

A Moment for a Friend

On Wednesday morning, fellow New York rapper Pop Smoke was shot and killed in a home invasion in Los Angeles. He was just 20 years old. Pop Smoke and Lil Tjay had formed a close bond and worked together on numerous tracks, and it was clear that Pop’s death took a heavy toll on Tjay. He entered the stage slowly, without announcement, as his recent tribute track “Pop Forever” played in the background. He asked the crowd for a moment of silence for his friend, to which they obliged.

The moment was touching. The rap world had been mourning the death of Pop Smoke for two days and the loss was still fresh. However, Lil Tjay quickly switched gears and got the crowd back to their initial energy. He performed his fan-favorite hits “Brothers” and “Pop Out,” as well as other tracks off his new album True 2 Myself, including “Hold On.” He finished with his massive hit single “F.N”, of which the music video for currently has 68 million views.

Pop Smoke
Lil Tjay by Rees Winga

A Good Crowd for a Good Show

After two years and three visits to Minnesota, Lil Tjay finally had a good crowd, something he lacked during the first two shows here. The openers were great compliments to Lil Tjay (The Kid Laroi may have even stolen the show) and the energy was high. With many of the kids in the crowd being the same age as Tjay (or a bit younger), it is great to see how he and his fans connect. As he continues to rise to fame, I’m looking forward to Lil Tjay’s next return to the Twin Cities.

Written by Rees Winga


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