Lloyd was in New York recently as the opening act for Diddy-Dirty Money’s Coming Home Tour . He sat down with MTV News to discuss his upcoming album, his first concert and what it’s like to open for one of hip-hop’s biggest and baddest names.
Atlanta-based R&B singer Lloyd recalled how he became Diddy’s opening act after encountering Diddy on a trip to Los Angeles. “Me, Polow Da Don and the whole Zone 4 crew went to UCLA for our daily routine working out, and one day Diddy came to work out with us. I remember Diddy actually talking to me while I was in the middle of some exercises and I wouldn’t look at him. He would just say, ‘Come on, man! Smile, man! Be happy!’ And I was just like, ‘I don’t want to smile. I just want to focus.’ ”
While many would have basked in the opportunity to converse with one of hip-hop’s greatest living legends, Lloyd simply wanted to finish his grueling workout. Diddy seemed to take something from that conversation.
“I think that he just admired something about seeing how driven I was at the time,” Lloyd recounted. “I think he could relate to and respect that.”
The 25-year-old singer entered the mainstream music scene when he signed to the Inc. Records back in 2004, in the days when he was closely associated with co-founder Ja Rule and labelmate Ashanti. He parted ways with the Inc. in 2009 and has since landed himself a new deal with Interscope. He recalls that his path to success came with a lot of hard work and sacrifice.
“I sacrificed a lot of my childhood for music,” he said, showing no signs of regret, only pride. “I signed my first record deal when I was 10.”
Lloyd excitedly shared a coincidental fact about an inspiring moment. “My very first concert was a Diddy show in Atlanta,” he said, smiling. “Puff came out and he just rocked it, man. I had never experienced anything like that.”
Now Lloyd performs on the same stage as the star he admired so much as a kid. “Diddy’s one of the first people to take hip-hop to a popular music standpoint,” Lloyd noted. “He’s the godfather of hip-hop!”
Lloyd is humbled by his current circumstances. “I really enjoy being an opening act because I look at it as an opportunity to earn new fans,” he said.
Old fans and new fans alike can look forward to his upcoming fourth album, King of Hearts, hitting stores in June. “It’s going to be my best work to date,” he promised, hinting about some “real cool surprise collaborations.”
“I heard a rumor that I was doing a song with Andre 3000 and Lil Wayne,” Lloyd teased.
Lloyd expressed some high hopes for this tour when it comes to acquiring Diddy fans. “They might’ve come to see Dirty Money but you’re going to leave thinking about me,” he promised.