“I just want to show that I’m here to stay.”

Lil Tjay had a mission going into the release of his second album, Destined 2 Win. “A lot of people get to their first album and a lot of the esteem be off one song, or their new artist phase,” he tells Apple Music. “And I feel like now that I’m settling in, I just want to show that I’m here to stay.” Destined 2 Win, which follows 2020’s drill-focused State of Emergency EP, is 21 tracks of New York City slick talk, the Bronx-born MC giving us double-bicep flexing (“Gang Gang”, “Headshot”), warm-weather macking (“Move”, “Slow Down”) and, of course, the all-too-familiar pain of losing friends to the streets (“Nuf Said”, “Losses”). You can hear the progression from Tjay’s debut, 2019’s True 2 Myself, in Destined 2 Win’s content and melodies, something Tjay says likely came from waiting to release it until the time felt absolutely right. “I got a lot of music, [Destined 2 Win] coulda been done,” he says. “I just felt the energy in the air, like it was ready. It’s my time to come.” Below, Lil Tjay goes into detail about what was on his mind when he was cooking up the album’s key tracks.

“Born 2 Be Great”
“I just always felt like I was born to be great and born to be something special, so I just felt like to start it off with that just felt right.”

“Hood Rich”
“‘Hood Rich’ is me rapping about wanting to be bigger than what I am, or where I was. It is damn near like a Tjay classic, though, ’cause I had this song for a little while and I just never dropped it. I just wanted to hold it for a sec.”

“Headshot”
“This was just a turnt night, it was a little bit of liquor in the system, the beat was thumping, it was aggressive. So that’s just how we was feeling in the studio, together.”

“Move”
“Me and Tyga was in the studio that day and it was a little vibe. I had a little liquor in the system, a couple ladies there. I could imagine people listening to this on a yacht or a boat. It gave me that vibe from jump.”

“Love Hurts”
“It does! If that shit ain’t working right and it’s a lot of miscommunication and real feelings is in it, it could hurt.”

“Run It Up”
“I fuck with Moneybagg shit, he keeps the bitches moving. His shit got the clubs pumping and shit. That was the goal for ‘Run It Up’, that vibe. Offset is on there, too.”

“Part of the Plan”
“I done been in some rough situations. And no matter what the situation was, I never folded. So I just feel like everybody should be the same [way].”

“Life Changed”
“I don’t really be in the same places too much. Where I’m popping out, everybody can’t get next to me. Life got more comfortable—my whole environment, my aura. I’m a different person right now. I levelled up.”

“Nuf Said”
“The calls I need to take, I take them. With people that’s locked up, I just try to speak to my guys and make sure they time goes by fast, hope they get into a better situation soon. I don’t be as available, but they understand that ’cause now I can do more for them.”

© Apple Music
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