Author: Joycelynn Okezie
As an extension of his 2016 EP TRU, R&B singer/songwriter Lloyd drops his full length LP of the same name today (August 31).
It’s a stunningly introspective album that contains the four EP songs plus five new ones, all of which he either co-wrote and/or produced. But he announced his return in head-turning fashion: The album cover art features him barefoot in the woods, completely nude, save for a strategically placed guitar. Complex caught up with the singer to talk about releasing Tru as an independent artist, why, exactly, he decided to bear it all for this project, and even a potential reunion with former labelmates Ashanti and Ja Rule.
The New Orleans-born, Georgia-reared artist needed to take a break from the gloss and grind of the business, a hiatus that involved an intentional focus on self-reflection and growth. When he checked back in to release the EP Tru in December 2016, the response to the titular single proved that fans were still down. “Tru” went platinum, and the music video has more than 82 million views. With lyrics that convey vulnerability, like “Disappeared from the scene and left my old team/Had to find a new approach to an old dream,” the single also signaled to listeners that Lloyd was at a different place in his journey, as a musician and as a man.
“Once you gain a bit of recognition and success, then you feel like maybe you’ve talked about everything, or you’re not delving deep enough,“ Lloyd tells Complex. “For me, I think the time was an experiment to see if maybe living a little bit would produce some better music.”
The album is comprised of the four tracks from the EP plus seven new songs, including the previously-released bop “Caramel.” Sevyn Streeter, Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, River, and The Spelman Woman’s Choir all contribute their talents to the opus.
About the LP, Lloyd said, “I wanted to put a lot of soul into it, you know? Kind of comparing music to food, I would say the goal was to stay as far away from fast food as possible and to focus on soul food. Definitely a lot of humanizing moments for me as an artist and as a man. Just talking about family, talking about the loss of loved ones, and now that I’m experiencing fatherhood, I’m kind of talking about that as well.”
Stream the project on Spotify.