In a whirlwind of promotion Lloyd recently hit London ahead of a number of live appearances and in support of his radio smash hit ‘Dedication To My Ex (Miss That)’ taken from the 26-year old’s fourth studio album ‘King Of Hearts’ released last year.
I got the chance to sit down with the singing sensation and talk about recording with the stars of tomorrow, his relationship with old Murder Inc boss Irv Gotti and everyone’s favourite song…
How did you spend the Fourth of July?
I was in Washington DC performing at the DC United Stadium which is where the soccer team there plays. I performed with T.I, Young Jeezy, B.O.B and T-Pain. I was performing on a sprained ankle so basically I was just limping around town on crutches, and so yeah, that’s how I spent my Fourth of July. I got to see the fireworks, DC is known for having the best fireworks on the Fourth of July.
Obviously ‘Dedication to My Ex’ opened you up to a whole new audience – particularly here in the UK, did you always know that song was the one, that it had something or was it a surprise for you?
I always knew it had something because of the way that it made me feel, I never knew it was ‘the one’ – or the two or the three. My creative mind said “This is something” but my rational mind that has developed over time, through mistakes said, “you never know how people feel or what they’re going through or how they’ll react.” You just gotta go with how you feel, and hope that they feel the same way.
What can fans expect from your upcoming live performances, like your appearance at the Wireless Festival?
For a motherfucker to give his all, they can expect to see me with my diddy-bop, my limp…my gangsta limp (laughs). Once the adrenaline goes you don’t feel it, you don’t feel the pain but afterwards it comes back like – like taking a bad trip on a drug, like that fall at the end? Not that I take drugs, I just hear about them through my friends.
What are your own personal highlights from ‘King Of Hearts’ – tracks that you are most proud of?
‘Shake It For Daddy’ which was a freestyle, ‘Never Window Shopping’ which was on the deluxe version of the album, which I recorded in Vegas. I met a young producer, he had a beat and I took it, rocked it and that was it. No big name or nothing, but a great tune. I really liked the lead single ‘Lay It Down’ because at times I didn’t want to do it but sometimes you just have to get out of your way and I really liked saying ‘pussy’ a lot on ‘Dedication To My Ex’, that was nice (laughs) ‘Be The One’ was cool because Young Jeezy is one of my favourite rappers, and it reminded me of the music that I used to make with my ‘Street Love’ album and stuff like that which is what I am more into now. I really enjoyed working with Chris Brown, because I just enjoyed seeing another young motherfucker with talent, and just vibing out, it was good. The most endearing track would be ‘World Cry’; I remember recording it and then playing it for Canine cause we were working at the same studio but in different rooms and we just vibed out. Just the experiences in-between the songs that weren’t recorded, the conversations with the other artists – like the conversations Canine and I had were amazing and we talk about other shit, not necessarily music – we’d talk about tea, travel, religion and all stuff like that.
You’ve appeared on the hooks of some real big hits recently, who was the most fun to record with?
I really liked working with Wale, I feel he is really talented and I had the chance to work with him on his recent album on a track called ‘Sabotage’ which I really, really enjoy. But we did a lot of mixtape work before this ‘Ambition’ album came out. I worked with Tyga on his early mixtapes, I just talked to him last night and the phone and I told him how excited I was to see his success come to fruition, all the hard work and endless hours he has put in. Going from a guy with a bunch of tattoos that nobody knew about to now being one of the premiere young MC’s in the game. I really enjoy with working with whoever is next, who is going to be the shit one day.
Who are you hoping to get in the studio with?
Snoop. Me and Snoop did a remix for ‘Shake It For Daddy’ that never came out but I’m hoping to work with him again because he’s out here and we’ve been talking so hopefully we get to meet up before we fly back. There’s this young cat from my hometown Atlanta called Future, I really fuck with his music and I fuck with him as a person so I’m hoping I can get him on some of my stuff, I did something for him already but we’re trying to come up with something for me now.
After being the “underdog” for so long, in 2012 it seems that you’re one of more elevated members of the Murder Inc. alumni – there must be some lasting satisfaction from knowing that?
The satisfaction lies in waking up this morning, knowing that my family is healthy, knowing I’m healthy, knowing that I’ve got good people around me and knowing that I have God given talent that nobody can take from me, the nobody gave me in the first place. I think regardless of who it is, it feels good to know that I have a catalogue and I have lasting power when so many come and go. I think Andy Warhol once said in his era, “in the future I believe everyone will have 15 minutes of fame” but I think I’ve able to stretch mine out to maybe 20, 25 (laughs) and that’s a blessing. I just stay thankful, I’d rather be on the underdog tip – if that’s what you wanna call it – but we influenced a lot of these young cats with our music when we first came out and just never realised it because we were so young and so high at the time (laughs)
You seem to make an effort to stay away from the drama that many famous names thrive off of – is there a reason why and is that on purpose?
Yeah, because I think what lasts longer than the drama is knowing that I worked with Drake on his first mixtape, working with Jeezy on his first album and Rick Ross on his first album – with Wale on his early mixtapes and with Tyga on his early mixtapes. Being able to keep my ear to the streets and just do what I came to do and do best – some people do drama better than other people. I don’t really do the drama, plus where I’m from we don’t really talk about it we just be about it. We’re in an era now where people can talk and hide, and that’s just not my style so if I say something about a person or if someone says something about me then I’ma try to find them and see about it, face to face and then it goes from there, and where it goes from there is up to them.
Have you heard Irv Gotti’s latest track called ‘No One Greater’ with Ashanti featuring Meek Mill and French Montana? What do you think of it?
OK – I haven’t heard it.
Will you be reuniting with Ashanti at some point in the future, I know she has the new album coming. Will you being doing anything with her?
Only god knows, but that’s my homie but yeah only God knows.
In the case of Irv, what is the status of that relationship now? After his one sided feud with you last year…
We’ll have a conversation one day and we’ll talk about a lot of stuff. We’ll realise the only reason why it hurts, the reason why there’s pain, the only reason why there’s anger of any sort is because you care, because you love. There’s a genuine love there no matter what and that’s what’s important.
You don’t think about the motive behind someone you know so well making unprovoked comments like that?
No because – I’ve thought about it and I understood it. More important than lashing out is understanding why someone is saying the things they do or feeling the way that they do and then once you have understanding and then you can move on from there. But what’s really important is not to sit and dwell on it because I’ve got other shit to do. I got other records to record and greater things ahead of me that I have yet to even accomplish that I need to focus on.
What did you make of Frank Ocean’s now infamous blog entry?
I have no idea what you’re talking about and I really don’t care to comment.
You’ve been in the UK for a while, have any of our acts caught your eye?
I’m always impressed when I come here, I’ve been impressed by the UK for over five years now and the music keeps getting better and better. The artists keep evolving; every time I come I always go and holler at Westwood and say “Tim, what’s the new shit? Put me on!” and he always plays some new shit for me and I just go crazy.