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Lil Tjay pays tribute to deceased friend with ‘Forever In My Heart’

New Yorker releases music video on five-year anniversary of friend Smelly’s death.

If you’ve ever heard a Lil Tjay song, you’ve likely heard a bar from him referencing Smelly, his childhood friend who passed away. Tjay has always made a point to keep Smelly’s memory alive in his music, as he has lyrics about him in many of his most popular tracks like “F.N,” “Mannequin” by Pop Smoke, “Move On,” and several others.

I wish I could go back

To August 14th to be exact

That’s when my nigga Smelly would be here

Trauma so severe

“No Escape” — Lil Tjay

So, on the five-year anniversary of Smelly’s death (Aug. 14), Lil Tjay released single “Forever In My Heart,” solely on YouTube and SoundCloud.

This heartfelt tribute samples the emotional 2020 hit “HEARTBREAK ANNIVERSARY” from R&B rising star GIVĒON, using GIVĒON’s vocals from the song’s hook to open the track. “Forever In My Heart”‘s music video shows Lil Tjay singing and rapping in solitude as photos of Smelly are shown.

Tjay expands on the difficulty of celebrating his fame without Smelly here to see it and how much he misses one of his closest friends.

I can’t even enjoy the fame like I want to

Tryna focus but the pain always run through

So much pain, I can’t undo

I don’t even want the fame like I want you, back

“Forever In My Heart” — Lil Tjay

Lil Tjay has always infected passion and tenderness into his music, typically in a romantic fashion. But, “Forever In My Heart” gives much more of a melancholic tone, as Tjay reflects on his lost relationship with Smelly. Check out the song below.