Ryan’s latest #PlaylistMonday entry took me down a path. The theme is “1st Album, 1st Single”. A lot of these songs overlap with my college years, which lead me to my personal College House Party playlist. I had a realization: Lloyd had a lot of jams. So, I would like to show some appreciation to The Prince of Murda Inc, Young Goldie.
Lloyd’s debut, Southside, was held in high regard thanks to his single of the same title. Now, I was still in high school when this song came out but its spirit carried all the way through my college years. This Lloyd classic instantly made him the biggest player on Murda Inc’s roster since Vanessa Carlton.
Southside was cool but your intro to Lloyd was probably his follow-up album, Street Love. If so, I don’t even blame you, this album had hits. It instantly takes me back to the days when tucking the front of your shirt into your pants to let your belt show was a fashion statement.
As much as I love “Set Adrift on Memory’s Bliss”, “You” is easily the best use of Spandau Ballet’s “True”. It’s also his most controversial song because it has divided fans. It calls for an age-old debate: Is it “She’s 5’2” or “She’s fine too”.
Both are plausible.
Lloyd, a man of diminutive stature, likely has a penchant for pursuing smaller women. He will probably go up to 5’5 but his sweet spot is that 5’0-5’2 region. Out and about, walking in his leather jacket and bedazzled belt, he spotted a beautiful five-foot-two lady. “Perfect”, he thought. “Perfect”. The lady he’s already seeing is 5’7 (easily 6’1 in heels) but she checks all of his boxes. She’s intelligent. Funny. Buys him bedazzled belts. He’s everything she wants. Finally, he comes clean. “Yes, she’s 5’2 but I. Want. You”. The best love song of our generation.
[Note: Lloyd cleared this up later but what if she really was 5’2 and fine too?]
Where were you the first time you heard “Get it Shawty”? The dancefloor, hopefully. This is one of Lloyd’s more feelgood songs. Puts you in a dancing mood every time you hear it. Makes you want to spin on your toes in your freshest pair of Air Forces.
Another important song of note from Street Love is an album cut by the name of “Player’s Prayer”. (This song sounds a lot like J. Holiday’s “Pimp in Me” but let’s ignore that for now). “Player’s Prayer” is the long-form version of Hov saying “I was just f—– them girls, I was gon’ get right back”. Not just any apology would do, you had to play this song to let her know you were serious. Yes, I messed up one, two, even, three times but I was just playing then!
Lloyd’s next album is a personal favorite of mine and quite frankly, his most overlooked album. It’s 2008’s Lessons in Love. The third album of his catalog was packed with jams front to back. If your social schedule had an allotment for errr-, extracurricular activities, this album was the perfect album with you. It kicks off with “Sex Education”, because which college student doesn’t need that?
And who could ever forget “All Around the World”? Shoutout to all the lovely ladies who took to the dance floor to vogue while this song was playing. This single was dropped during the peak of “rap along to the Weezy verse in unison” era. There are many songs on this album of note: “Treat You Good”, “Year of the Lover”, “Party All Over Your Body” but I want to focus on “Have My Baby”. Just in case you don’t know what this song is about, Lloyd is so smitten by one of his lovers that he asks her to have his baby. The hook features Lloyd singing “Please have my baby, yes, I’m talking to you”. Because he wants to clarify that he means her and only her. He doesn’t care that there are only two people in the room and there’s nobody else he could possibly be talking to.
Lloyd took a brief hiatus and came back two years later with a new haircut. King of Hearts is a weird album because by every stretch of imagination it’s absolutely awful but it features his one of his best singles (if not his best). “Lay It Down” was a triumphant return for Lloyd. This song is an undeniable jam. Who else could kick out lyrics such as “put the jimmy on and rock that body right”. That’s not even the best lyric from this song. It gets better. Lloyd, spotting a 5’2 lady in the club, says “you’re looking at me and I ain’t talking about the look in your eyes”. No, he’s not talking about your third eye that’s a pathway into your subconscious, he’s talking about the southernmost eye. The All Seeing Eye of Sauron.
The track didn’t need anything else after this but Lloyd decides to take it to another level by yodeling at the end. This should be the sole reason why Lloyd is underrated. It takes talent to turn an R&B song into a Ricola commercial.
“Lay It Down” also has a remix featuring the queen Patti LaBelle. The only thing better than this duet is warm sweet potato pie.
King of Hearts was supposed to be huge but that wasn’t the case. Not being able to capitalize on the hype of “Lay It Down”, it was released almost an entire year later. Sales were…less than spectacular. Lloyd then took a hiatus, this time not so brief.
He reemerged back in 2016 with the Tru EP which served as a journal for his family and legal issues. I actually dig this EP a lot.
Lloyd’s career had its ups and downs and he’s often an afterthought today but it’s important to not forget the hits. Don’t forget that time you tried to do it for Lil Saint while “Get It Shawty” was playing. Don’t forget the images of whirlwind romances “One for Me” conjured. Give Lloyd his flowers.
And always remember, yodelay-yodelay-hoohoo.