Rapper Lil Tjay updated his fans on his condition Wednesday on social media for the first time since he was shot in New Jersey in June. In the video message posted to his Instagram, the “Calling My Phone” artist is seen reclining on a couch and in a neck brace.
“Man, I’m just checking in with y’all. I just want to say thanks for the love, thanks for the support,” he told his 7.4 million followers. “I was looking at the DMs and I’m seeing the comments and everything else and I felt loved, know what I’m saying?” The 21-year-old underwent emergency surgery after being shot multiple times in Edgewater, N.J., at 14 The Promenade on June 22. In a statement released by the Bergen County prosecutor’s office, Mohamed Konate, 27, was identified as the lead suspect in the shooting and was charged with three counts of attempted murder, three counts of armed robbery and various other unlawful weapons charges.
Edgewater police officers at the crime scene said they found Lil Tjay with multiple gunshot wounds and Antoine Boyd, 22, with a single gunshot wound. A third person, Jeffrey Valdez, 24, was with them, and Valdez and Boyd were in possession of an unlawful weapon at the time, officials said. On Wednesday, Lil Tjay shared that he was shot seven times in the incident but that he is on the road to recovery and is ready to head back to the studio. Seven shots, it was tough, you know. Most people don’t survive it, but I’m here. Here for a reason,” he said. “New music coming soon. We’re gonna come back stronger than ever.”
On Tuesday, DJ Akademiks posted an image on Instagram of a billboard that read: “I’m back Lil Tjay.” He captioned the post, “#LilTjay billboard pops up in the Bronx in NYC!” Lil Tjay has yet to announce exact dates for his future releases. The Bronx native broke out on SoundCloud and was signed by Columbia Records in 2018. He released his debut album True 2 Myself,” in October 2019, and it peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 chart.
Carlos De Loera is an editorial assistant at the Los Angeles Times. He previously worked at The Times as an intern with Arts and Entertainment and at the Houston Chronicle as a features intern. De Loera is a L.A. County native and a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, where he majored in history and minored in journalism, ethics and democracy.