Rapper Lexii Alijai Dies at 21: 'Saddest Way to Start a New Year' Says Kehlani, as Stars React

"You were such a star to me because every word you spoke was true," wrote singer Kehlani on Instagram, mourning the loss of Lexii Alijai

Lexii Alijai
Photo: Presley Ann/FilmMagic

Stars are mourning the loss of Minnesota-born rapper Lexii Alijai.

Born Alexis Alijai Lynch, the young star was a rising talent in the hip-hop community.

She died on Wednesday at the age of 21, according to multiple outlets, including the New York Post‘s Page Six. A cause of death has not yet been confirmed.

Family members shared news of her passing on social media, where they mourned Alijai and her music.

“[You’re] a real Legend? if you know her or heard her music you’d feel chills?,” wrote one woman, who identified herself as a cousin of Alijai’s 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 … It’s too soon?”

Another woman who identified herself as a family member 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 … Rest easy baby… ? You gained your beautiful wings.”

Alijai put out two albums during her up-and-coming career, both released while she was a teenager: Joseph’s Coat in 2015 and Growing Pains in 2017. She rose to fame with viral remixes of popular Drake and Nas songs, according to E! News.

Kehlani — who got an assist from Alijai on the song “Jealous” — reacted to the tragic news on Twitter, sharing her heartbreak and confusion for her close friend and colleague.

“Weakest saddest way to start a new year,” Kehlani wrote in one tweet, later adding: “this s— was so much deeper than music that was my little sister.”

The Grammy-nominated singer, 24, went on to share multiple tributes to Alijai, both on Twitter and Instagram — even making a photo of the late rapper her header image on Twitter and adding “LONG LIVE LEXII” to her profile bio.

I keep typing and backspacing … you knew what you meant to me … everyone knew what you meant,” she tweeted. “You were so special bro … i seen you fight thru it all i seen u thug it out lex … imma miss you so bad … you was about to get everything you always talked about … RIP MY BABY.”

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE’s free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories

Kehlani also shared a slideshow of photos with the young artist, writing about her admiration for Alijai as well as the memories the two shared, including late-night drives, hotel nights and her “playing in” Kehlani’s makeup.

“I’m so sick. I’m so angry. I’m confused and my heart is broken. I don’t know why this happened. I don’t know what you’ve ever done but be brilliant, kind, strong, gentle, compassionate,” she wrote in her caption. “… you were such a star to me because every word you spoke was true. every word you wrote was honest.”

She added: “… I seen u go thru it ALL!!!! and then TELL THE STORIES SO BEAUTIFULLY! You was supposed to go take over the world lex. You was supposed take home the trophies and hang the plaques up.”

On her Instagram Story, Kehlani urged her followers to appreciate Alijai’s music as a way to honor her: “Go stream all her music. Go share her videos. Go repost her art. Period.”

Rapper Lexii Alijai Dead At 21
Lexii Alijai. Instagram

Other stars and collaborators reacted to the news as well, including rapper Wale

Lexii … my God man …” he tweeted, soon adding, “She is a queen. So damn talented. I knew in my heart she would blow up.”

Elle Varner, who performed a song called “Mourning After” with Alijai on her first album Joseph’s Coat, grappled with the tragedy on Twitter, writing: “RIP Lexii. It was an honor to know you, work with you, and be a mentor to you. ????”

KayCyy, a collaborator on two tracks featured on Alijai’s second album, called his friend a “Minnesota LEGEND” on Twitter.

“Can’t stop crying for you My dawg ain’t no s— hit me this hard bro , was just in high spirits , we spoke last week we was suppose link ! U sounded happy gang ,??‍♂️,” he wrote, “we had hits and so many more to do man I was so proud to see you kill this game ?.”

Related Articles