With his single ‘Headshot’, which features Polo G and Fivio Foreign, and lush accompanying visuals still doing its round in our heads, we were naturally expecting big things from New York rapper Lil Tjay on his third album Destined 2 Win. Dropping over the long weekend, the album maintains the dark outsider lyricism and big hooks that we first heard on his 6lack collab ‘Calling My Phone’, whilst also establishing his ability to keep the energy just right over its whopping 21 tracks, swaying from moody flexes and emotionally driven choruses perfectly.
Fittingly, the album opener and title track is an optimistic one, with Tjay introducing us to his autotune-heavy vocals over a mini symphony of breathy synth pads. The track nicely warms us up before we’re launched into album standout ‘Born 2 Be Great’, allowing the power of Tjay’s vocals to take centre stage as he relentlessly drops big clout bars.
Shedding the bravado on the biographical ‘Hood Rich’, Tjay offers us insight into his rough childhood and his rags to riches Bronx story. “Remember bein’ locked down, treated like a peasant next to fleas,” he sings shortly after reminding us that he’s barely an adult, yet has already come so far: “At eighteen, young nigga, bought my mom a crib…. I been knew this would happened, crazy, this the way it is I was destined, destined to succeed”
‘Gang Gang’ is the most simple and infectious track on the record. Made for those sweaty nights when the club is filled to the brim, the anthemic track is instantly memorable thanks to the punchy AF chorus. Enlisting Offset and Moneybagg Yo for the ultrasmooth ‘Run It Up’, Tjay’s vocals provide the smooth juxtaposition to the hard-hitting bars of his collaborators, proving that he’s equally as comfortable in the supporting role as he is as the centrepiece.
Don’t just take our words for it though, dive into the record below and head here to see more of Lil Tjay on Instagram. Let’s hope when travel opens up again we can lure him Down Under…