The year is 2007, I just got accepted to VCU in Richmond VA. Technically, I was there for higher education, but hormonally, I was there to start getting on these girls like I was their agents! At the time, I was far from a playa, but I also wasn’t a push-over. With that being said, college was gonna be the best time of my life, and definitely going to be the best time for my romantic life. As a young 19 year old boy, I was still finding out what romance was, so every little thing I saw, I soaked up and tried to emulate. Then along came the proverbial bible to all the young guys in the game –“Street Love”.
‘Certified’ is smooth as s–t! This is the song that made me feel confident that a girl was gonna text me back after I got her number in the club.
Every line Lloyd spits on “Certified” is exact: “I love how you twerk,” “I love how you sweat,” “I love how your weave got a mind of its own,” etc, etc… In my opinion, what he’s saying on this song is on some pimp s**t, but some real COOL pimp s**t.
I think it’s genius how it almost sounds like LLoyd is singing in a group on this song; this allows him to show the listener several different sides of his horniness.
4. ONE FOR ME
“One For You” is the song that gets the girl into the bedroom…
Lloyd is whispering sweet nothings in this girl’s ear on “One For Me;” however, I do not think the song is your typical slow jam, mainly because it has a different type of energy to it (It’s more exuberant than what you would hear from the R&B superstars of yesteryear)
I would think that by the second verse of this song, your girl would be unintentionally unbuttoning her shirt.
3. I DON’T MIND
“I Don’t Mind” was the song that made me think that my 5 dollars can go a long way in a fake strip club.
‘I Don’t Mind’ is like Hazel in a sense: They both indirectly talk about a guilty pleasure. This track is referring to a stripper, but Lloyd talks about a stripper in a way where he doesn’t sound like an obsessed ass.
The beat attached to “I Don’t Mind” is mellow, and surprisingly, his singing sounds urgent. (He actually sounds like he wants this stripper more than he wants “You”)
‘Hazel’ was that clever song on “Street Love” that had my boys and I thinkin’ this alcohol and hookah is necessary to get us in a certain mood.
“Hazel” has this darkness to it that keeps you in this soothing vibe throughout. Lloyd doesn’t change his tone at all on the song, practically talking (not singing) from start to finish.
It’s obvious, but not so obvious that Lloyd is talking about weed on this track… If you don’t get that, you don’t get Kings Basketball!
The premise behind “You” isn’t anything new. It’s about some former playa that is ready to change his ways for a girl he’s feeling. However, the unique thing about the song is Lloyd’s vocal performance on it. In my opinion, the Atlanta singer’s youthful voice makes the content he spits out on his verses sound a lot more genuine. That matters to a normal lover like myself.
Lil Wayne has two very subtle verses on “You;” as I think about it, it doesn’t even sound like he wants his girl on them. Nonetheless, he draws listeners in utilizing this fly approach, effortlessly laying down the smoothest of lines throughout. In my opinion, his contributions definitely completes the song.
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. LLOYD (INTRO) (N/A)
2. YOU (5/5)
3. CERTIFIED (4.5/5)
4. I DON’T MIND (5/5)
5. GET IT SHAWTY (5/5)
6. INCREDIBLE (4.5/5)
7. VALENTINE (4/5)
8. HAZEL (5/5)
9. PLAYER’S PRAYER (4/5)
10. KILLING ME (3.5/5)
11. TAKE YOU HOME (4/5)
12. WHAT YOU WANNA DO (4.5/5)
13. STREET LOVE (4.5/5)
14. ONE FOR YOU (5/5)
To me, “Street Love” has always been one of the more slept on albums in R&B history. Correct, the downfall of Ja Rule and Murder inc. was a nasty one, but it doesn’t mean you should overlook music from their associates like Lloyd.
You can argue that the topics attached to most of the songs on this album are amateur-sounding, but you definitely cannot argue with Lloyd’s approach on each of them. Lloyd is extremely versatile with his vocals on this album, and it displays throughout. Not only does he show smoothness, passion, enthusiasm, playfulness, and hurtfulness in his voice throughout, but each are all believable in their own unique way.
Lloyd doesn’t follow up “Street Love” with the same magic on his newer albums. Yes, I would’ve liked him to emerge into a R&B superstar, but more importantly, for me,, I wanted him to explain how to navigate through love after you get out of college.