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"50 was the first person that came to mind," Lloyd explained to The BoomBox of his studio time with the bruising entertainment mogul. "He's made some great music in the past. I've always wanted to work with Dr. Dre, Eminem and 50. It's not fair for me to be put in a box. Why can't I be a fan of 50 Cent's music? I've never been a political person. Being at Interscope I can do what I want. This year is about building bridges and not burning them."
Watch Lloyd's 'Let's Get It In' feat. 50 Cent
Lloyd's new found freedom has also given him the artistic license to try new vocal styles and sounds. He points to his first single 'Lay It Down' from his upcoming album 'King of Hearts' as proof of his risk taking. "I didn't know 'Lay It Down' was going to be a single," he says. "I was skeptical of the song because of the key, which was so high. The trick of the song is it's not done in falsetto. It's a high lead. I was skeptical of the yodeling as well [laughs]."
Lloyd has already found success with tracks like 'Hey Young Girl,' 'Get It Shawty,' and the Lil Wayne-assisted 'You' and 'Girls Around the World.' But his approach to recording 'Lay It Down' was what he calls a "learning experience," despite eight years in the business.
"You realize that some of your best accomplishments don't have to be your ideas," Lloyd admits. "It's about being open enough to try them. The goal was to stay out of my way and just connect with the music."
Lloyd gives much of the credit for his new focus in the recording studio to producer Polow Da Don. "Polow did the majority of the album," Lloyd said of the in-demand beat man who has helmed hits for Ciara, Fergie, Rich Boy, Keri Hilson and Chris Brown. "He's extremely generous. There's no amount of time that Polow doesn't give to the music. He spends a lot of time on the most trivial things. There have been many times I recorded a song when he wasn't around and he tells me, 'I don't believe you, man. You have to do it again.' To have somebody in the studio who is constantly pushing me and always demanding more of me vocally is great. Sometimes we just go to the studio and watch old footage of people who have done this before ... the greats like Prince and Michael Jackson and even Jodeci."
Lloyd's 'King of Hearts' is due out March 15.
Watch Lloyd's 'Lay It Down'