In a groundbreaking interview with Rolling Stone, Lil Tay, the 16-year-old rapper and influencer, has unveiled her side of the story regarding the death hoax that falsely announced her passing back in August. Tay reveals the tumultuous details of a heated court battle between her parents, Angela Tian and Christopher Hope, which led to her social media disappearance in 2018.
The controversial teen, who had been absent from the limelight for years, found herself at the center of a false announcement on her Instagram page that she had passed away at the age of 14. However, the hoax was quickly dispelled by a statement to TMZ, clarifying that her account had been hacked. Following this incident, Tay released her single “Sucker 4 Green” the next month, prompting speculation among fans about the authenticity of the death announcement.
Addressing Rolling Stone, Tay asserted that her debut single had been planned even before the death hoax, stating, “I really wanted to get things going. And this was just something that came out of absolutely nowhere. And I had to clean up.” However, she, along with her mother, Angela Tian, and half-brother, Jason, accuses her father and former manager, Harry Tsang, of being behind the hoax. Tay claims her father orchestrated it as a “last resort” to derail her career, a claim both Hope and Tsang vehemently deny.
Christopher Hope, Tay’s father, disputed the accusations, labeling them as false strategies for publicity. He and Tian had been at odds over Tay’s career, culminating in a court order in 2018 that required Tay to return to Vancouver from Los Angeles due to school absenteeism.
Hope revealed his concern about his daughter’s early exposure to adult situations, stating, “She was onstage with a bunch of adults in adult situations at the age of 11, getting in these fights.” He aimed for her to receive guidance in acting and singing, contrary to the online content she engaged in.
Angela Tian claimed Hope hindered Tay’s career, refusing to sign contracts and alleging domestic and sexual abuse, which Hope vehemently denied, labeling the accusations as “totally and obviously extremely false.” In 2020, a judge granted Tian relocation and support rights, allowing Tay to move to Los Angeles with her mother and granting Tian full decision-making authority over Tay.
Amid swirling conspiracy theories, including suspicions about her brother’s involvement in the death hoax, Tay admitted, “There’s always going to be conspiracy theories.” Clarifying her role, she added, “I am the one that’s always wanted to become famous. I was the one who had a vision for myself as an artist, and I made it happen.”