Queens MC Lil Tecca has gone from local rapper to online sensation with a placement on the Hot 100 all in a matter of months, and his sudden rise has been pretty impressive.
I don’t care what no one thinks anymore I’m just gonna do me now. If people like it, they like it. If they don’t, they don’t. I like it.
But before Lil Tecca was rising up the charts, he dipped his toe into the rap game around the age of 9.
I started rapping ‘cause of XBOX. One of my first friends on XBOX, we were just chilling and we used to always roast each other, so I was like Nah, I'm gonna make a song on you. My first song was a diss track to my friend.
The song has since been deleted, but it sparked Tecca’s early interest in music, along with musical influences like Chief Keef and the melodies of the late Speaker Knockerz, who Genius covered earlier this year.
In late 2017, Tecca and a friend released “No More” on SoundCloud, which helped usher in his online presence.
As his music picked up steam over the course of 2018, he got involved in some online beef with Toronto rapper LB after a Canadian music page accused Tecca of lifting the rapper’s flow. But Tecca saw the dispute as an opportunity.
He DMs me like you're getting exposed tonight I’m like bet let’s get some clout. He posts me on the page he plays LB’s song when he plays my song. I’m like bet it’s perfect, I start going crazy. I post a preview on my page, I go live, I start @ing niggas, I’m like these niggas all sound the same so imma just try to sound like them. They have these really funny accents. So I use the accent and they all get mad. It's funny. They just are going crazy.
Million Views for his songs
The beef only helped him get bigger. And as his follower count grew, so did his discography, with tracks like “Love Me” consistently breaking a million views on YouTube. In January 2019 he dropped his standout track “Did It Again,” which was one of his first songs to really blow up.
After the music video for “Did It Again” dropped in March, views on the Genius song page tripled as the video garnered millions of views.
Songs like “Molly Girl” also kept Tecca’s popularity on the rise, but in May, fresh off the heels of his viral releases, Tecca collaborated with Cole Bennett of Lyrical Lemonade to release a music video for “Ransom” set in the Dominican Republic.
I heard the beat, I was like yeah that’s it. I heard the beat drop I was like yeah this is in a whole different universe.
The video was a hit almost immediately, with over 20 million views on YouTube to date.
Usually I don’t pick the name of the song ‘til after the song so I kept listening to it what should I name it, what should I name it. Then I heard me say “Ransom” and I was just like “Ransom.”
In mid-June, “Ransom” jumped onto the Billboard Hot 100 chart, giving Tecca his very first Hot 100 hit at only 16 years old.
While Tecca’s popularity continues to grow, he’s still managed to balance his life as a teenager with a budding rap career and plans to keep riding this wave.
I been in the studio for nine months. INTERVIEWER: Nine months straight? Yeah. ‘Cause I know what good music sounds like. So I just go to the studio and try to make it.