In a groundbreaking interview with Rolling Stone, 16-year-old rapper and influencer Lil Tay has revealed her side of the story about the death hoax that falsely announced her death in August. Tay reveals the tumultuous details of a heated court battle between her parents, Angela Tian and Christopher Hope, which led to her disappearance on social media in 2018.
The controversial teenager, who had been absent from the spotlight for years, found herself at the center of a false announcement on her Instagram page that she had died at the age of 14. However, the deception was quickly dispelled by a statement to TMZ, clarifying that his account had been hacked. Following this incident, Tay released her single “Sucker 4 Green” the following month, leading to speculation among fans about the authenticity of the death announcement.
Addressing Rolling Stone, Tay claimed that her debut single had been planned even before the death hoax, stating, “I really wanted things to work out. And this was something that came out of nowhere. And I had to clean.” However, she, along with her mother, Angela Tian, and her half-brother, Jason, accuse her father and her 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 allegations, calling them false publicity stunts. He and Tian had been at odds over Tay’s career, culminating in a court order in 2018 requiring Tay to return to Vancouver from Los Angeles due to truancy.
Hope revealed her concerns about her daughter’s early exposure to adult situations, stating, “She was on stage with a group of adults in adult situations at the age of 11, getting into these fights.” The goal was for her to receive guidance in acting and singing, as opposed to the online content in which she participated.
Angela Tian claimed that Hope hindered Tay’s career, refusing to sign contracts and alleging domestic and sexual abuse, which Hope vehemently denied and called the allegations “completely 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 giving Tian full authority to make decisions about Tay.
Amid a whirlwind of conspiracy theories, including suspicions about his brother’s involvement in the death hoax, Tay admitted: “There will always be conspiracy theories.” Clarifying her role, she added: “I am the one who always wanted to become famous. I was the one who had a vision of myself as an artist and I made it a reality.”