Lexii Alijai, born Alexis Alijai Lynch, died on January 1, 2020. The Minnesota-born rapper was 21. Details and the cause of Lexii Alijai’s death have not been released.
The tragic news was confirmed by her family members on Facebook. Alijai’s cousin posted a tribute to Alijai on her page, “You’re a real legend. If you know or heard her music you’d feel chills. Rest in paradise you’ll never be forgotten!?? I’m so lost for words…my beautiful cousin with so much talent & Unique soul Lexii Alijai It’s too soon.”
LaMycha Jett also posted an emotional message on Facebook confirming Lexii Alijai was dead. She wrote, They say don’t question God, but damn why you baby. This thing called life is crazy as hell. My heart is broken. The tears won’t stop. I’m trynna hold it together… I love you more than you’ll ever know. I can’t focus, I can’t concentrate, I’m numb, I literally can not (breathe). Rest easy baby. You gained your beautiful wings.”
Without naming Alijai, artist Kehlani, who collaborated with the rapper on the song, “Jealous,” which reached No. 36 on the US Billboard 200, tweeted out to her 1.3 million followers on the social media site, “jus got the worst fuckin news ever. my heart is BROKE. F***.”
Kehlani continued her tribute to Alijai by tweeting, “weakest saddest way to start a new year – i’m off this happy new year please please please please be safe out here – love on your people -please…. it’s hard to have so much faith in god and that everything happen for a reason cuz it’s sh** i can’t imagine there ever being a reason for – why bro.”
Born on February 19, 1998, in St. Paul, Minnesota, the rapper attended Creative Arts Secondary School, where her love for music flourished. The rapper gained a following by performing over the beats of popular artists such as Drake, Nas and Dej Loaf, and eventually dropped out of school to pursue her career full time. Her first full-length project, Super Sweet 16, was released on her birthday. The following year, she dropped a mixtape with Shaun Sloan entitled Same Struggle.
Alijai was always her own biggest advocate. She paid $300 to go see J.Cole in concert while he was on his What Dreams May Come Tour to go backstage and personally drop off a demo tape that she made for him. While she never heard back, Alijai kept pounding the pavement.
Sloan said to girlmuch.com, “One thing I want to make clear is that Lexii is a very hard worker. After watching her movement, I don’t feel she is waiting. or longing for any celebrity co-sign to take her to the next level. It’s only a matter of time that her talent, & work ethic will lift her to the heights she needs to be.”
Here’s what you need to know about Lexii Alijai:
1. Lexii Alijai’s Debut Full-Length Album Was Released in September 2017
Lexii Alijai’s career was on the cusp of a breakout after the release of her first full-length album, Growing Pains. The 16-track record showed off her skill not only as a performer, but as a singer-songwriter. On one of the standout songs, she mixed Outkast’s “Miss Jackson,” with flipped lyrics in which she’s apologizing to the mother of her boyfriend.
In 2015, Alijai released Joseph’s Coat, which featured the song, “No Cry,” with former The Voice contestant, Ashley Dubose, and the moving, “No Cry,” in which she opens about her family struggles.
In an interview with City Pages in 2016, she said the move to make more vulnerable music was inspired by J.Cole.
“I heard ‘Crooked Smile’ by [J. Cole], and that was the first song that ever did anything for me,” Alijai said. “It picked me up, and I never felt an artist do that for me. That’s why I started getting more personal in my music. It’s just cool to make people feel the same way that J. Cole made me feel.”
Dubose said of working with the young rapper, “I like Lexii’s ability to put into words the thoughts and feelings that so many can relate to, and to put them in such a clever and catchy way. I like that she’s has a very shy and mysterious persona. I thought she fit. She had a very real perspective to offer, and her flow is so smooth and delectable.”
2. Alijai Performed at Soundset Musical Festival With Kendrick Lamar, Chance the Rapper & More
While not a Halloween-themed gig, Alijai opened for female rapping duo Blimes & Gab on October 31 at the Amsterdam Bar & Hall in St. Paul.
A hometown favorite, Alijai performed at Minnesota’s major hip hop festival, Soundset, in 2016. Taking the same stage as Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore, Wiz Khalifa, and Chance the Rapper. Earlier that year she also performed at First Avenue’s Best New Bands showcase and released the new single, “18,” on her birthday.
On her growth as an artist, Alijai told City Pages, “With Joseph’s Coat, I felt love for the first time.” On feel•less, which was released in 2014, “I didn’t know what that was. I was young; I didn’t care about boys. So much has changed in a year. It just make you see stuff so differently.”
3. Kehlani & Alajai First Linked Up Through A Twitter Connection
While first introduced through mutual friends, when Lexii Alijai met Kehlani, they shared an instant bond. The teen rapper had a guest appearance on “You Should Be Here,” which was on Kehlani’s debut album with Atlantic Records, and she opened for the singer at the Fine Line in February.
During an interview with GoRadioMN in 2017 Alijai said of meeting Kehlani, “The power of Twitter. We had a mutual friend who heard my music and then she sent me the ‘Jealous’ record. I wrote it during lunchtime, recorded it and sent it right back.”
Kehlani told Complex about the hit track’s meaning, “‘Jealous’ is about recognizing intention… having to end things with someone because they’re about your lifestyle not necessarily you. I feel like a lot of people with any sort of success have been through something like this. A lotta people lack integrity.”
4. Alijai’s Grandfather, Robert Troutman, Founder of the Band Zapp, Was Shot & Killed In 1999, Her Father, Also A Musician, Died in 2003
Music was in Lexii Alijai’s family’s blood. Her grandfather, Roger Troutman, was a well-known singer, songwriter, and music producer. Troutman was born in Hamilton, Ohio, as the fourth of 10 children. His first band was called the Crusaders, before founding Little Roger, and eventually forming Zapp, which released four gold-selling albums. Troutman also had a successful solo career, recording music with Parliament-Funkadelic and Elvis Costello.
Troutman tragically died on April 25, 1999, when he was shot several times outside a recording studio in Dayton, Ohio, around 7 a.m. He was rushed to surgery at Good Samaritan Hospital and Health Center, but did not survive. Alijai’s great uncle, Larry Troutman was found dead by suicide in his car a few blocks from where Roger was shot. The gun used to kill Roger matched the one found with Larry, and the case was described as a murder-suicide.
Alijai’s father, Roger Troutman Lynch Jr., who was a rapper and musical artist died at age 33 in 2003. Alijai often posted tributes to her father on Instagram.
5. Tribute Messages Memorializing Alijai’s Rising Star Career Cut Short Filled Social Media
The sudden and unexpected death of the young artist came as a shock to her fans. The rapper, who had 47K followers on Instagram, 16.5K followers on Twitter, and nearly 40K on Soundcloud, had yet to fully reach her potential, and the loss was hard blow to her dedicated following.
The rapper Russ wrote on Twitter, “Damn wtf ? RIP Lexii Alijai. You were so dope. Definite (star).” Wale tweeted, “Lexii … my God man …”
And rapper Bas tweeted, “This is hard to comprehend. So young, talented, humble, and gracious. I was positive it was only a matter of time before the world celebrated your talent and your character. RIP Lexii.”