Music

17-year-old rapper Lil Tecca has big plans

He started rapping diss tracks over Xbox. Now the youngster has found world wide success.

At just 17 years old, Tyler-Justin Anothony Sharpe, stage name Lil Tecca, has already hit the Billboard top 10. With his breakout track, Ransom, released in May of 2019, the young rapper has started building a name for himself.

Lil Tecca released his first album, We Love You Tecca, on August 30th, 2019. His hit song “Ransom” hit 400 million streams on Spotify. 

Before his viral hit, Tecca was a typical kid who enjoyed playing basketball and Xbox in his spare time, dreaming of making it into the NBA. Tecca explained how every summer he would play basketball at Springfield Park in Queens, New York. 

“I was truly, truly trying to go to the league,” he says, but that was until his rap career took off which changed Tecca’s vision for his future completely.

Lil Tecca began rapping with his friends over Xbox when he was 9 years old. They would write and rap diss tracks towards each other. At first Tecca kept his music to himself and his friends. He wasn’t really interested in sharing it with others. But gradually, the people around him caught on. Tecca was using his sister’s computer to create all this music and upload it to the Internet. When his sister found out he was making and uploading music to the internet she immediately told their parents. They were supportive of his hobby.  

He is often compared to rappers such as Lil Mosey, Polo G and Lil Tjay, who are also young artists who have a similar type of tone and flow when they rap. Lil Tecca has been influenced by many artists such as Eminem, Meek Mill, Lil Wayne, Waka Flocka Flame, Chief Keef and his claimed favorite, Speaker Knockerz. However, in his childhood, he was influenced by Micheal Jackson and Coldplay. Lil Tecca has now found his own voice and style in his music.

Lil Tecca’s lyrics may sound tough, but his look is distinctly nerdy. The young rapper wears thick glasses, braces, and speaks in a quiet, understated voice. Although he raps about owning guns, that is only a pose for the music.

In March, the teenager claimed he still went to school and did music on the weekends as his serious hobby. But as his career has blown up, Tecca has said that he has been having a harder time in school and has been focusing on his music more. 

In addition to recording and making media appearances, he maintains a strong social media presence on Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat, using social media to develop his image and engage with his fans. He currently has 2.8 million followers on Instagram, and his personal YouTube account has nearly a million subscribers.

Though he started rapping over beats he found on YouTube, he eventually started making his own. Tecca has said if he wasn’t a rapper he would be a producer.  In an XXL interview Tecca said, “I’ll give y’all producers three months, if that, until I’m the best at producing in the game.” 

To him, it’s all so simple. 

“It’s just like rapping,” the 17-year old said. “You’re making something sound good.”

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