While others were celebrating on Jan. 1, New Year’s Day brought sad news to the friends, family and collaborators of 21-year-old rising rapper, Lexii Alijai. The Minnesota artist reportedly died on Wednesday, though the cause of her passing has not yet been confirmed.
“Your a real Legend. If you know her or heard her music you’d feel chills,” Alijai’s cousin, Raeisah Clark, confirmed on Facebook. “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.”
Alijai first began creating buzz by remixing popular songs by Drake, 2Pac, Nas and more, naming Drake, PartyNextDoor and J. Cole as influences in a 2017 interview. The St. Paul artist notably worked with Kehlani on 2015’s “Jealous” and went on to drop off her Growing Pains LP in 2017.
Kehlani was one of the first to bring attention to Alijai’s death on Twitter.
“Jus got the worst fu*kin news ever,” she tweeted on Wednesday. “My heart is BROKE. FU*K.”
“i’m angry i’m confused i’m heartbroken i’m angry i’m confused. i love you lexii. my baby was 21!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” she wrote in another tweet, also updating her Twitter header photo and bio to include Lexii. “this sh*t was so much deeper than music. that was my little sister.”
Several other artists also came forward to pay their respects.
“A sweet soul, gone way too soon, rest in paradise lexii,” Ella Mai wrote.
“Rest in heaven Lexii,” Ari Lennox tweeted. “You were so sweet and kind to me. I’m so sorry angel.”
Bas and Wale also remembered the young artist, with Bas writing, “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,” he continued. “RIP Lexii.”
“Lexii… my God man,” Wale wrote, adding, “She is a queen. So damn talented. I knew in my heart she would blow up.”
“I became a fan of her work while she was recording her mixtapes in high school,” fellow St. Paul rapper Maria Isa told Minnesota’s, City Pages. “Lex made me proud to see the future of women from our city on the mic being ourselves with no shame and just truths.”
“If you’re writing about Lexii, just note that, you couldn’t listen to her music without becoming a fan!” Minneapolis rapper Jayso Creative told the outlet. “She was so talented and down to earth. Really a breath of fresh air… The entire city won’t be the same without her.”
See more reactions to the sad news below.