His Playboy Diaires mixtape was the last audio we got from him, and whilst an 8-month hiatus isn’t a lot for most artists, it is for one as prolific (with both features and his own solo work) as Lloyd tends to be. Nonetheless, he’s back and it’s good news for R&B heads.
I’m not sold on the whole ‘twerk, ratchet, molly’ thing (I don’t think anyone is, really), but it’s quite easy to brush aside here as Lloyd’s back to his smooth best vocally. The Drumma Boy production has a strong hip-hop influence, combining speaker-rattling percussion with urgent synth lines that wouldn’t sound out of place on an MMG mixtape, though there’s a slightly more mellow synth creeping in there that keeps the beat tied to Lloyd’s strong points. His hybrid delivery on the verses capitalises on the elevated bass levels in those sections well with a relatively rap-esque delivery riding along the beat well enough, whilst his mellow work on the hook is catchy and pretty much classic Lloyd- unquestionably, the differential between this track and other ‘twerk’-oriented R&B is that hook section, with Lloyd once again showing the durability of his inimitable style.
The video is pretty much women grinding and dancing around in a dark environment, which ends up playing on the moody synth work. Fingers crossed, there’s more coming from Lloyd; whilst some new upcoming talent has given R&B a mini resurgence, there’s room for Lloyd to command a leading position in the mainstream scene.
Having been previously led to believe that this was going to be an iTunes LP release rather than a mixtape, its arrival as a free mixtape instead came as a pleasant and welcome surprise. Without question, Spitta is one of the most prolific MCs in the game, and this is another to add to his massive back catalogue of freebies.
He often comes with big names in tow, and that’s no exception here. Appearances from Lloyd, Styles P, Trinidad James, Wiz Khalifa, Rick Ross, French Montana and more make up a strong selection of guests, whilst beats from Lex Luger, Cardo, DJ Toomp, Statik Selektah and a few others ensure the production lineup is equally stacked. 14 tracks, no cost, can’t complain: free grab and stream below.
Borrowing the production from Mac Miller’s track of the same name, from his Macadelic mixtape, Lloyd drops off a new visual from his recently-released Playboy Diaries mixtape.
If you’re unfamiliar with the original, you’ll be surprised this was ever meant to be a hip-hop beat. The smooth sample, the soft synths and laidback percussion all point towards an R&B slow jam, and thankfully that’s exactly what Lloyd comes through with. The mellow production style is one that suits Lloyd down to the ground, and his light, whispery are an excellent complement to it throughout, resulting in a combination that warrants several replays at the least. Not a massive amount going on in the video, as it follows Lloyd around on the Amsterdam leg of his tour, but the slow pacing of the clip works well enough with the audio. Arguably, this is one of his better tracks in quite some time, and be sure to grab that mixtape if you haven’t already.
Always a pleasure to have a full project from Lloyd, and with his recent releases from this tape being of a very good standard, there’s a good chance the rest of the tracks will follow suit.
13 tracks make this one up, with 4 of them being released at various intervals prior to today, whilst the rest keep the features to a minimum in order to give Lloyd a little more shine. The assists on the new tracks come from prominent rappers Lil’ Wayne, Trae Tha Truth and CyHi the Prynce, and I’m sure the unannounced production credentials make for a solid list too. Free stream and grab below.
Lloyd-The Playboy Diaries
Knowledge bomb: I’ve seen this track posted and discussed in several places, but no-one seems to have noticed this is actually a retooled version of a track from 2009. Proof?
That’s not a negative thing at all though, as the original was a great listen and this rework is even better. The production’s got a little more punch about it, without losing the wispy elements that complement Lloyd’s voice so well, and relies less on the tribal-esque production and slightly overdone backing vocals the original used. The speed is slowed down too, a shift that suits the lyrics much better and gives them a far sultrier styling that befits the bedroom music nature of them, whilst Lloyd’s re-recorded vocals also achieve the same effect as he throws in a varied combination of urgency and softer deliveries. A good update of the original, and look out for that The Playboy Diaries mixtape on 29th October.
They’ve come up with the goods too. Lloyd opens with some empassioned vocals on this dark production, contrasting its moody nature with some very lively vocals, before steps into the hook superbly by retaining Kendrick’s lyrics whilst ensuring his vocals are memorable. August jumps in for verse two with a strong delivery of his own, including a quickfire rap style toward the end of the verse, before giving his individual take on the hook. One of few remixes of this track, but unquestionably artists are going to have to go some to top this. A great accompaniment to the original, and look out for Lloyd’s Playboy Diaries mixtape to drop soon.
Lloyd appears to be gearing up for a new release, and he’s recruited Wale for a little help, a man who he’s worked fairly well with in the past.
Given that most of R&B’s big hitters seem to be on the bench right now, the track is a really refreshing listen. It’s a slow jam with plenty of that unmistakeable Lloyd style, combining the soft, atmospheric production he favours with vocal work which dials back on his usual drifty approach in favour of a more emotional delivery. Wale’s usually solid on R&B features, and his flow is superb here, switching between a couple of slightly different deliveries over little more a few piano notes, and it’s a good addition to what is a very solid all-rounder. Fingers crossed, there’s more of this ilk on its way soon.
Looking increasingly like being August’s breakout single, the collaboration with Lloyd from little over a month ago with a nice dose of originality.
The video’s pretty simple, focusing mostly on August and Lloyd performing their lyrics rather than adding any particular story, which makes most sense given that August needs to make the most of his camera time as a young up-and-comer. It’s quite fun watching the energy and youthful exuberance August brings, particularly in comparison to Lloyd’s laidback, relaxed demeanour which offers a nice contrast, showing Lloyd’s probable comfortability with his cemented status in R&B versus August’s attempts to really make an impact on the viewer.
Good track, easygoing visual and a strong choice of single for August to try and get behind. Free grab is available over at the audio review.
It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Lloyd, and he generously took to Twitter to let loose this single with upcomer August Alsina.
It’s a pretty good R&B collaboration from the duo, and makes for surprisingly refreshing listen in a music environment that’s just not churning out (non-dance infused) R&B at the minute. August opens with a passionate performance that makes for a good introduction to what he can bring to the table, before those trademark tones of Lloyd come through to really bring the song up another level. The two trade vocals towards the end to good effect, and close off what is a solid jam that’ll impress the R&B and pop heads.
Going into Lloyd’s King of Hearts release a few months ago, this was undoubtedly the track that really excited me and got plenty of rotation. I’ve somehow conspired to overlook listening to the album (which is odd, considering my long-term support for Lloyd), but that doesn’t change the fact that this is undoubtedly one of the year’s better R&B efforts.
The upbeat, energetic style of the track is matched by the charisma and confidence of all artists involved, whilst the intensity and moodiness of the audio which is captured excellently by the dark lighting that engulfs many of the scenes, along with the sexually aggressive male-female interactions (the clear crotch grab by one of the models on Lloyd, for one!). It’s a fast-moving, fiery video that has an all-too-rare unfiltered, raw feel about it, and is certainly worth a watch for a refresh of the excellent audio. Grab Lloyd’s King of Hearts on iTunes now.
Announcement: If you’ve arrived at this post having searched for ‘Lloyd naked’, I’m sorry to disappoint you but this is not a questionable picture of Lloyd in minimal clothing. Maybe another time.
Taken from that upcoming King of Hearts album, this track once again sees Polow Da Don helming the production, and he most certainly delivers. Evoking a 90s R&B vibe with a slow, sultry production reminiscent of R. Kelly’s early material, Polow serves up a slow jam with thick bass, sprinklings of percussion in addition to hints of saxophone, synth and more in a deep, layered production. It combines to create a perfect soundscape for the ever-engaging vocals of Lloyd, who delivers from start to finish with confidence and presence, preventing the beat from overshadowing him with a smooth, assured serenade to the lady of his attention. Textbook R&B. Be sure to grab that album on July 5th.
Well, hasn’t this song got me hot under the collar! There’s too much sexiness here as Lloyd enlists the help of Trey Songz and Young Jeezy for his next single, Be The One, from his upcoming album King of Hearts, set to be released on July 5th.
Polow Da Don laces Lloyd with a hard, thumping beat that’s sure to be a hit in the clubs, whilst the track’s lyrical content is faithful to its title; sexually charged and bound to appease women. As we have come to expect with both Lloyd and Trey Songz, the quality of the vocals on show are of a high order, with the rap-influenced singing fitting into the song very comfortably. It’s not a competition of course, but I do prefer Trey Songz’s verse as his vocals feel more natural to the song than Lloyd’s. Young Jeezy anchors the track nicely, offering a change of pace and flowing onto the beat with pure ease.
Not to be confused with George Orwell’s somewhat more macabre view of the number 101, we roll on past the magical 100 with this week’s episode. Be sure to catch up with my top 30 from episodes 1-100 if you haven’t already.
It’s crazy to think that Lloyd’s been around for years now, and can probably be considered a more senior member of the R&B community at the young age of 25. Undeniably however, his recent material has displayed a real coming of age for him as an artist, and he brings that new-found maturity to his latest video.
It’s a relaxed, easy-to-watch video that doesn’t have an over-complicated plot, and makes good use of positive scenescapes and solid cinematography. The simple segmentation effect is used very well, and timing it with the bass thumps adds a very slick feel to the package, as well as keeping things interesting throughout.
Very solid track, and a good video to accompany it. The chemistry between Lloyd and Polow Da Don is evidently superb, and hopefully King of Hearts will show more of the same quality.
A pretty short episode this week, but with good reason. Recently, it’s become a bit annoying (for me, probably not for many of you) that most episodes are comprised primarily of pop music, and not R&B. This week, I wanted to avoid that, and hence I can say I’m genuinely a fan of this week’s episode, which I’ve not been able to say for a while.
Couple of big singles this week, including the first single from Ryan Leslie’s upcoming third abum Les Is More. Only really the two relevant posts from the week gone by, with the superb Jhene Aiko releasing her new album/mixtape for free, and Odd Future’s Frank Ocean dropping off a great piece of R&B with Dave Raps. Be sure to check both out, as whilst they may not be familiar names, they’re very much worth a look. Click below for the rest of the goods. → Continue Reading
Genuinely tried to get this out yesterday, but once again we suffered from a lack of material. I’ve managed to half fix that problem, though this is still a shorter episode than you’re probably used to.
A few interesting remixes this week, with over a third of this week’s tracks being of the remix variety. Other great tracks in there too, making this an R&B Friday that you’ll forgive for being a little late to the party.
To me, any time between midnight and 4am counts as the ‘night before’, so by my reckoning this is still a Friday night and hence on time. Don’t question it, just embrace it.
Short recap this week, with just the three noteworthy and relevant posts from the R&B/pop world: Tinie Tempah and Ellie Goulding’s collaboration got some visuals, a pretty interesting electro remix of Diddy-Dirty Money’s I Hate That You Love Mewas liberated, and finally Musiq Soulchild came through with one of the better tracks of January, with his first single from his upcoming sixth album.
Formalities are now dealt with, commence your clicking as of right…now.
No recap this week thanks to a temperamental hard drive, but R&B Fridays actually makes it out on a Friday for the second consecutive week, which is a pretty big victory.
Lots of remixes and rappers popping up this week, with some huge names coming through with some very unexpected pop and R&B remixes. More than enough original material too though, making this a very diverse episode that’ll satisfy the vast majority of you grubby little folk.
Click on and let me be the Snoop to your Cameron, though R&B/pop probably isn’t the same as marijuana…probably. → Continue Reading
Ajay posted the original remix here a few weeks back, and Lloyd now brings Young Jeezy and R. Kelly onto the joint, and in my opinion they move the track to another level.
R. Kelly really takes to the track comfortably and pretty much makes it his own, which was inevitable based on his recent form. His verse also raised a smile, and from the sounds of it he pretty much laid it down freestyle. Jeezy’s flow is perfect for a joint like this and he’s always going to be a welcome addition, whilst Lloyd’s new verse really helps to freshen the song up.
Will R&B Fridays ever be on time? That’s the question.
I’ve more than compensated though, throwing in almost 20 tracks for you to enjoy this week. There’s no skimping on the big names either, as there are some strong contributions from some of the bigger stars in the R&B/pop world. No real recap this week as the music industry has all but shut down, though the Alicia Keys version of Devil In A New Dress is a must-download.
Again, I’m aware it’s a Sunday…it is (or was) Christmas though, so finding a few hours to throw this together wasn’t really going to happen. I’m surprised there is enough material, given that the industry usually shuts down a little around this time of year, but it seems most artists are intent on continuing success they’ve found this year.
Rumoured to be a single from Wale’s sophomore album, this one has him hooking up with the rejuvenated Lloyd for a nice all-round effort. Wale’s remix of Lloyd’s You was one of the very first tracks I’d heard from Wale a few years back, and it was an extremely impressive showing from him (though the original version was/is one of my favourite R&B tracks of all-time, so it’s hard to do wrong with it!).
This was never going to live up to those lofty expectations, but certainly gives it a worthwhile try as the track comes with a similar vibe. With a relaxed production providing an easygoing backdrop for great Lloyd vocals and typically witty Wale wordplay, it’s got all the right materials to be both a radio-friendly single for the R&B heads, and one the longtime Wale fans can appreciate.
Much anticipated video for Lloyd’s latest single from King of Hearts.
I’m a huge fan of the song itself, and the video captures the essence of the track nicely with dark club scenes and nightime cityscapes. Throw in some energetic stage scenes of Lloyd and you’ve got a well-rounded mainstream video that really enhances the audio.
Definitely one to watch, as the video blends together the more likeable aspects of uptempo urban videos with a fundamentally enjoyable song. I’m still playing this track in my car, and you can do so here.
Well, there’s no shortage of things to talk about on this one. First off, there are plenty of cameos: on first watch, I picked up Rick Ross, Dawn Richard, Faith Evans, JoJo, Polow Da Don and Lloyd. Always nice to see lots of artists coming together.
Secondly, I’m not sure Keri has done a video/song as ‘promiscuous’ as this one: there’s no lack of skin and, er, gyrating/thrusting. I didn’t quite pick up on it when the audio was released, but the lyrics are pretty ‘sexually honest’ too, and it’s undoubtedly her riskiest effort to date. Personally, I don’t think she needed to go down this route, but there we are.
The final point would be that despite the heavy sexual emphasis, there is actually some semblance of a story going on, which is respectable. It’s a shame (or not, if I’m honest) that it’s lost amidst a sea of smut. Audio is here.
The second collaboration (first one is here) from two of the most famous Lloyd’s around, this one is set to feature on the upcoming Lloyd (not Banks) album, King of Hearts.
R&B Fridays fans will be familiar with Forever, with a version of the track originally leaking way back in March, and immediately establishing itself as some of his strongest material to date. The production has the atmospheric feel that suits Lloyd’s voice brilliantly, and his vocals are on top form as ever. Banks comes through with a short, sharp verse on this one, embellishing his rejuvenated reputation with a strong contribution. Great all-round R&B track.