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#UnMute Lil Tay

Internets, I knew that Lil Tay probably didn't have a Lamborghini and five houses, but I wanted to be

Life in a Shanty Town

May 11 · Issue #55 · View online
The hip-hop newsletter that's not afraid to ask the tough questions

I knew that Lil Tay probably didn’t have a Lamborghini and five houses, but I wanted to believe anyway. I’m like a religious person, in that sense.
I was filled with a sense of pride—for what hip-hop has become, for the promise of social media and for the reemergence of the Horatio Alger myth as a relevant idea in our society—when I saw videos of her throwing huge amounts of money on the ground, where a hungry black person might grab it and run off with it, and egging on her friend Woah Vicky in her historic confrontation with Bhad Bhabie, a/k/a the “cash me ousside” girl.
Tay’s ascendance, as a sort of folk hero for people who know what a Juul is, was arguably the only good thing to happen since Trump took office. (Think about it.) So you can imagine my disappointment when I read yesterday that Lil Tay’s mother has been fired from her job as a real estate agent in Vancouver, British Columbia. Apparently, she’d been using her clients’ fancy houses to film Tay’s videos, and her boss found out about it and gave her the boot.
Not only am I concerned that Tay might not be able to shoot any more videos, if she doesn’t have access to rich people’s houses, but what if, now that she’s been fired from her job, it occurs to her mom that maybe it’s not the best idea to have her nine-year-old daughter out here saying all kinds of ridiculous things on Instagram, dropping the dreaded n-word like it’s going out of style and hanging out with Chief Keef, who’s constantly being shot at.
This could have profound implications for the state of “my own personal amusement.”
For the benefit of the kind of people who would be impressed by that sort of thing, I should also make a big show of my concern for Lil Tay’s well-being. I don’t recall seeing her shilling for Flat Tummy Tea or, god forbid, an OnlyFans account in any of her videos, so it’s quite possible that she hasn’t made any money yet. Now her mom is out of a job, and Tay can’t support the family with her social media antics, because where would they film?
Roughly every third sentence in an article in Jezebel the other day, on who exactly put this poor child up to this, is about how they’ve taken special care not to reveal the mother’s government name, lest they’re targeted by an especially resourceful axe murderer. Though it’s mentioned that Tay’s mother’s name has already been revealed in an article in Babe, the same site that ran that Pulitzer-worthy investigation of Aziz Ansari, thus rendering the Jezebel article unnecessary.
Both articles are presented as if they’re the 2018 equivalent of the investigation conducted in the movie Spotlight, which itself wasn’t all that impressive to me (certainly the outcome wasn’t much of a surprise, nullus), though apparently figuring out who this lady is was just a matter of typing the phone number for Tay’s management into the Google. Even people who sit around and watch YouTube as if it’s actual television had already thought to do that weeks ago.
But I am kinda surprised that the mother didn’t think to get a burner phone. Her command of Black Vernacular English is too strong for her to have never seen “The Wire.” Maybe this is just me being racist, but I always assume that Asian people are two steps ahead of the game at all times. It’s one of the main reasons I’m nervous to be around them. (The other main reason? Their mastery of combat sports, natch.)
The daughter looks like she might be half-white, which makes me wonder where the father is. Obviously he’s not in the picture. I mean, if Tay has been allowed to pursue such a career. This could be another situation like that retarded-looking kid (in the clinical sense of the term, natch) who was getting bullied in school. Come to find out, his father is some white supremacist convict. I know a lot of those alt-right guys take up with Asian women—or fantasize about it anyway.
With all due respect to my favorite site on the Internets, and also Jezebel, there must be more to this story. We might need Ronan Farrow to get to the bottom of this. (No Anderson Cooper.) Lil Tay might not be done amusing us just yet.
Take it easy on yourself,

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