Lil Tjay Drops Long Awaited Album ‘Destined 2 Win’


Clash Music

On April 2, 2021 19 year old rapper Lil Tjay released his long awaited second studio album Destined 2 Win following his 2019 breakthrough True 2 Myself. The album contains 21 songs including 3 bonus tracks and features from the likes of Offset, Polo G, and Fivio Foreign.

Quinn Sheehan, Contributing Writer

At just 19, Bronx native Lil Tjay has been working his way to the top of the rap game for the past 2 years. After topping charts with hits such as “F.N.” and a feature on Polo G’s “Pop Out”, Tjay released his debut album True 2 Myself on October 11, 2019 to critical acclaim. He then dropped the 7-song mixtape State of Emergency on May 8, 2020, which was widely seen as a disappointing follow up to True 2 Myself. Even so, Tjay’s fanbase has grown steadily in the past year, and so has the demand for another full project from him.

He teased a song titled “Calling My Phone” all over his social media in late 2020 and early 2021. The song, featuring 6LACK, went number one on Billboard’s charts when released and has amassed over 160 million streams on Spotify. This was followed by “Headshot” which dropped on March 19, 2021 featuring frequent collaborators, Polo G and Fivio Foreign and “Born 2 Be Great” on March 31, 2021, just two days before the release of the album. Finally, on April 2, 2021 Destined 2 Win was released with 21 total songs including singles and bonus songs. As a Lil Tjay fan since 2018, the following evaluation is just my opinion and is completely subjective.

1: “Destined 2 Win”
Serving as the intro to the album, this track is only about a minute long. Overall, it wasn’t very necessary and Tjay could have created a much more memorable intro.

2: “Born 2 Be Great”
The first true song on the album, it addresses Tjay’s path to success and the hate that comes along with it. It also pays homage to Drake and Rihana’s 2016 hit “Work,” as Drake is one of Tjay’s biggest influences. This is a very enjoyable listen and an early favorite of mine on the album.

3: “Calling My Phone”
The most popular song off the project so far, “Calling My Phone” deals with Tjay and 6LACK’s troubles with moving on from their own past relationships. The song was quickly labeled as overhyped upon its release, but I personally love it and it is perfect for late night car rides.

4. “What You Wanna Do”
“What You Wanna Do” is a slower song about a girlfriend who seems unsure about whether or not she truly wants tp be in a relationship with him. Tjay does a great job of stretching his vocal range on this track and it continues his strong start on this project.

5. “Hood Rich”
This song pushes the tempo of the album up a bit as Tjay incorporates one of his signature musical motifs: a piano instrumental. He talks about his come up from poverty in the Bronx and how others did not want to see him succeed. Yet another great song, “Hood Rich” is another one of my personal favorites from the album.

6. “Oh Well”
“Oh Well” pushes the tempo up even further from the last track. It features one of my favorite beats from the whole album and Tjay’s two verses on this song are some of his best. While the chorus is repetitive and the song as a whole has no real meaning or themes, it is a ton of fun.

7. “Headshot”
The aforementioned track featuring Polo G and Fivio Foreign sees the three trade off verses. Polo G starts the song off perfectly with an aggressive verse. Fivio Foreign surprised me on this song as I have never really been a fan of his, but he delivers a very good verse. Finally, Lil Tjay comes in and closes out another very strong track.

8. “Gang Gang”
On “Gang Gang” Tjay deals with his loyalty to those close to him and how even though he has made it in the music industry, he won’t turn his back to his friends and family back in the Bronx. Although the song is very repetitive, it is still a pretty enjoyable listen, but maybe not on par with most songs before or after it.

9. “Go Crazy”
This features a light beat accompanied by hard 808s. Tjay talks about multiple topics on this one including how he is a future legend. Overall, this is another solid song, but likely on the weaker half of the album.

10. “Irregular Love”
One of the shorter songs, “Irregular Love” shows Tjay, accompanied by a soft piano beat, confessing how he feels about a certain girl and how she is different from the rest. He asks if she would still be with him if it wasn’t for the money and the fame and addresses her possible mixed emotions towards him. Another great song as Tjay continues to deliver on this album.

11. “Move”
The song begins with a catchy hook from Tjay and a surprisingly solid verse from Tyga, who I am typically not too crazy about. Unfortunately, Saweetie’s verse is just not good at all and virtually ruins the song as she could have done much better. One of the few skips on the project.

12. “Slow Down”
“Slow Down”, which was leaked in early 2019, has Tjay rapping about getting to know a girl named Miranda and treating her to expensive items and a lavish lifestyle. This album continues to be extremely consistent with another very solid and enjoyable track.

13. “Love Hurts”
Tjay and fellow New York rapper Tossii team up for a melodic song about troubles in holding onto relationships on “Love Hurts”. Tjay’s performance on the song is solid, but not as memorable as others on the project and Toosii’s verse is extremely forgettable leading to a good, but not great song compared to the whole album.

14. “Run It Up”
This picks it right back up after a semi-disappointing song. Tjay does a great job, but Offset steals the show with a fantastic feature which is my favorite on the whole project. Moneybagg Yo delivers a respectable verse although the song didn’t really need him on it. Overall, the song puts the album back on track after a stretch of a few lesser songs.

15. “Part of the Plan”
Easily one of my favorites, “Part of the Plan” is a 4 minute track about Tjay’s success and how he got to where he is now. I can see myself playing this for the whole year as it is one of the best songs on a great album.

16. “No Cap”
“No Cap” is a song containing one long verse from Tjay. Throughout the song, he reflects about his struggles growing up with little money in a rough neighborhood in the Bronx. He says that now that he has money, he wants to help his family by putting food on the table and keeping them off the streets. He also wants to be an inspiration or role model to those in similar situations as he was. I really enjoyed it and it reminded me of “No Escape” off of Tjay’s first album True 2 Myself.

17. “Life Changed”
This song discusses the common theme seen throughout the duration of the album of how Tjay’s life has changed for the better thanks to his hard work and dedication to music. This nice, feel good track is another memorable moment on the album.

18. “Nuf Said”
“Nuf Said” acts as the outro of the album as the next three songs are bonus songs which had previously been released. The song is similar in length to the intro track “Destined 2 Win”, but I like this one much more as it is short and sweet and Tjay overall flows better on the beat.

19. “Losses” – Bonus
This song, which was released on October 30, 2020, discusses Tjay’s past and how he went through a lot to get where he is today. It’s a decent song, but definitely my least favorite of the bonus tracks.

20. “Move On” – Bonus
Released on November 20, 2020, “Move On” depicts Tjay rapping about the end of a relationship and how he was played by this girl and forced to move on. The lighthearted acoustic guitar instrumental and Tjay’s vocals lead to it being my favorite of the bonus tracks.

21. “None of Your Love” – Bonus
Dropping on December 4, 2020, this fast moving song has Tjay addressing a girl who ignored him before the fame, but wanted to be with him once he blew up. Obviously, Tjay wants nothing to do with this girl and wants to succeed to prove her wrong. The song even samples Justin Bieber’s “Baby”. I enjoy it more than “Losses” but not as much as “Move On.”

Overall, I think that Lil Tjay did a great job on this album as there are almost no misses throughout the 21-song-project and Tjay continues to be one of my favorite rappers out now with a unique voice and fun songs with decent story telling.

A few complaints I have about the album are that the features, for the most part, are forgettable (apart from Offset’s verse on “Run It Up” and Polo G and Fivio Foreign’s performances on the already released “Headshot”). Also, I don’t think Destined 2 Win had as many incredible or memorable songs as True 2 Myself. However, that could change in the future and I do think Destined 2 Win is much more consistent than its predecessor.

In the end, I think that Destined 2 Win by Lil Tjay is the best rap album to come out so far in early stages of 2021, but I wanted to get other people’s opinions on it. Hingham High junior John Steele, who is neither a Lil Tjay fan nor hater, when asked about his opinions on the album said, “I’d say it’s pretty good. Nothing special, but it does show improvement.”

Meanwhile, HHS freshman Mark Pryor said, “I thought it was mid because it had boring beat selections, and the only songs I see myself returning to are ‘Run It Up’ and ‘Headshot.'” Despite differing thoughts from others, I believe Lil Tjay lived up to the hype for the most part with his recent album Destined 2 Win and I personally cannot wait for his next release.