Vancouver’s foul-mouthed nine-year-old rapper is moving with her mother to L.A., saying, ‘You need money to, like, support your family. Everyone wants to live a good life’

Lil Tay, a viral social media star, poses for a portrait at in Los Angeles, California on May 22, 2018. (Photograph by Philip Cheung)

One day earlier this month, Lil Tay sat behind the wheel of a white Rolls Royce, her nine-year-old frame barely tall enough for her to see over the dashboard. She drove forward a few feet, lurched to a stop and hopped out. “All y’all grown ass men hating on a nine-year-old. I ain’t got no license, but I just dropped 400 racks on this car, bitch,” she shouted at a camera recording the diatribe for her 2.1 million Instagram followers. A large dog panted nearby in the front seat. His name is Swaggy and he has more than 800,000 Instagram followers. Lil Tay went on to excoriate those who accuse her of being fake and exaggerating her wealth. “If I rented my cars, do you think I be doing this?” Lil Tay gave the Rolls Royce a few swift kicks.

The short video has racked up nearly seven million views. In the past two weeks, Lil Tay herself has scored coverage by the CBCNational PostViceSouth China Morning Post, and Newsweek. She is on the radar of gossip empire TMZ. Lil Tay could be described as an internet celebrity of sorts. In her online videos, she swears, flashes stacks of cash, poses in luxury cars and homes, and references drugs and trap houses. She is the self-described “youngest flexer of the century.” Recently, she appeared with rapper Chief Keef and collaborated with Jake Paul, a 21-year-old with 15 million YouTube subscribers. Together, they showered the ground with dollar bills next to a Lamborghini. Her abiding ethos is the wanton attainment and celebration of wealth.

When Lil Tay first entered the public consciousness a couple of weeks ago, her team mostly avoided commenting to reporters. (It’s not entirely clear if this was intentional or just due to disorganization.) Now, however, Lil Tay and those supporting her are prepared to capitalize on the attention. The family is moving from Vancouver to Los Angeles, where stars are made.