The year is 2007, and 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! I was far from a playa, but I also wasn’t a push-over (Trust me, my story is going somewhere.). It 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 kid, we are still finding out what romance is, so every little thing we saw we soaked up and tried to emulate. Then along came the proverbial bible to all the young guys in the game….”Street Love”.
Yea we heard the first single “You” with Wayne, and it was sort of your stereotypical song at the time, but then I heard other singles from his album that made me say “Damn that’s smooth”, “Damn that’s ruthless”, “damn that’s damning”. Lloyd was able to capture all the young guys feelings in a nutshell.
Well now I am 27, settled down, and comfortable with discussing one of my favorite albums of all time that sort of assisted in my college puberty.
5. CERTIFIED (4.9/5)
‘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 word Lloyd spits on this song is exact. “I love how you twerk,” “I love how you sweat,” “I love how your weave got a mind of its own!” It’s all precise. It’s pimpin, but not over doing it like other pimps do.
I think it’s genius how it almost sounds like he’s singing in a group on this song; this allows him to show the listener several different sides of his horniness.
4. ONE FOR ME (4.8/5)
This song is what gets the girl into the bedroom…
Lloyd is whispering sweet nothings in this girls ear in a smooth/suave way on this song. It is not your typical slow song, because it does have a different type of energy to it; it’s more exuberant than what you would hear from other R&B superstars of yesteryear.
I would think by the second verse of this song your girl would be unintentionally unbuttoning her shirt.
3. I DON’T MIND (5/5)
This was the song that made us think that our 5 dollars can go a long way in a faux 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 is mellow, and surprisingly, his singing sounds urgent. (He actually sounds like he wants this stripper more than he wants “You”… I mean I like Black Chyna too, but if Kerry Washington is available, she’s probably getting my best effort over Chyna)
2. HAZEL (5/5)
‘Hazel’ was that clever song that had me and my boys thinkin’ this alcohol and hookah is necessary to get in the mood.
I always thought that ‘Hazel’ was dope! It has this darkness to it that keeps you vibed out throughout. Lloyd doesn’t change his tone throughout the song, and is practically talking (not singing) on the track.
It’s obvious, but not so obvious that Lloyd is talking about weed on this track…. It’s almost like it’s obvious, but not so obvious that Kanye West has some sort of mental disorder.
1. YOU (5/5)
As stated earlier in my opening words, this song was your stereotypical track in which a singer is singing about how much he wants a specific girl. The unique thing about this song is Lloyd’s voice though: His youthful voice adds this honesty to his approach that makes it seem so much realer to a normal guy like me. It makes the content in the song sound a lot more like a crush he’s trying to get, than a floozy he met at the club.
Lil Wayne has two subtle verses on this song…. As I think about it, his verses are so subtle that it doesn’t even sound like he wants the girl at all.
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
HOT: I Want You (Remix) (5/5), You (5/5), Hazel (5/5), I Don’t Mind (5/5), Certified (4.9/5), One For Me (4.8/5) Get it Shawty (4.7/5), Players Prayer (4/5), Killing Me (4/5), Take You Home (4/5), What You Wanna Do (4/5).
MEH: Valentine (3.9/5), Street Love (3.9/5), Incredible (3.9/5).
To me, this 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 didn’t mean you should overlook music from their associates like Lloyd.
You can argue that the content of the songs on this album are sort of amateur, but you definitely cannot argue with the vocals. Lloyd is extremely versatile with his voice on this album, and it displays throughout. Not only does he show smoothness, passion, enthusiasm, playfulness, and hurtful voices throughout the album, but each are all believable in their own way.
Lloyd doesn’t follow up this album with the same magic on his other albums, so maybe that’s why I appreciate this album so much. With that being said, the exclusivity is a good thing, because the less of an anthem it was to everyone else, the better for me.