Okla Jones
Jul, 10, 2018

Born in the uptown section of New Orleans, R&B crooner Lloyd gave his city the perfect homecoming celebration with his debut ESSENCE Festival performance in the Hot Right Now SuperLounge.

In a set curated by DJ Jash Jay, the crowd’s anticipation for the artist’s arrival reached a fever pitch as he played classics from local legends such as Partners-N-Crime and DJ Jubilee.

Lloyd hit the stage and immediately reminded fans and new listeners alike of his immense musical talent. After a brief guitar solo, he and his band played jazz-inspired versions of “Bedrock”, “Lay It Down” and an ode to Patti LaBelle with a remixed “Love, Need and Want You.” His crowd control was excellent, and the energy between himself and his DJ only added to the quality of this performance.

During the middle of his show, the Atlanta-bred singer performed some of his collaborations with Hip-Hop heavyweights like Young Jeezy, Lil’ Wayne and his duet with Drake of off the So Far Gone mixtape. In what was thought to be the final song of his ESSENCE Festival appearance, Lloyd rocked the crowd with his uptempo hit, “Get It Shawty.”

Before leaving the stage, however, he shocked everyone with what would be one of the biggest surprises of the evening.

Just as the audience finished their ovation for his set, Lloyd brought out the incomparable DJ Mannie Fresh; and the entire room erupted. Fresh recited his standout verse from Juvenile’s classic “Back That A** Up,” while they both reminisced about a time when New Orleans was at the top of the music scene. In adding to this great moment, Lloyd then introduced another special guest, Big K.R.I.T! “1999” off of K.R.I.T.’s 4Eva Is A Mighty Long Time ended the set between these three talented musicians.

As a “thank you” to his day-one fans, Lloyd serenaded his listeners with the first single from his debut album Southside. To close out the show, he sang the introspective “TRU,” but not before having an intimate moment with everyone, explaining why he wrote the song, his journey in music and the way his life has changed within the past few years. In fitting New Orleans-fashion, he second-lined through the crowd to put a cap on a set filled with big moments and unforgettable surprises.

Opening night of the 2018 ESSENCE Festival was definitely one to remember.