Lil Tay going off the radar after being exposed as an exploited child star is only temporary -- 'cause she's got another persona cooking in the kitchen ... so says a family friend.
We got Alex Gelbard -- who used to help manage Tay when she was hot stuff -- out in L.A. Tuesday, and he tells us Tay will be back with something "unique" and different from what fans came to know from the 9-year-old flex rapper.
In case you missed the Tay saga, she and her fam were put on blast after her 'GMA' appearance last month when tons of videos leaked of her being coached, and given what appeared to be hookah to smoke. She's deleted all social media since.
Not only that ... but Tay was found to be a full-on fraud after it was revealed her mom was using her boss's fancy car and her real estate listings to pump up her daughter's profile.
Gelbard's not working with Tay anymore, but he seems optimistic the kid can bounce back. Hanging with Rick Rubin's a great start.