I’m going to admit right now that I don’t know what a “fleezer” is (something to do with this website, I suppose). That said, I do know who Lloyd Vines is–the skateboarding rapper from VA Beach created a fascinating, original blend of hip hop, indie rock, and pop-punk in collaboration with VA Beach/LA guitarist/producer Landen Rose for their 2011 album under the name Rose & Vines.
I’m going to admit right now that I don’t know what a “fleezer” is (something to do with this website, I suppose). That said, I do know who Lloyd Vines is–the skateboarding rapper from VA Beach created a fascinating, original blend of hip hop, indie rock, and pop-punk in collaboration with VA Beach/LA guitarist/producer Landen Rose for their 2011 album under the name Rose & Vines. Last year, we premiered a video for that album’s “Hey! Loose Lips,” which was a total blast, full of partying and great times. “The Virginia Fleezers Song,” a brand new track from Lloyd’s upcoming solo mixtape, Crucial Style Vol. 1, has a completely different feel to it. Instead of being surrounded by hordes of hedonistic kids, Lloyd spends this entire video alone. At first he’s sitting in a room full of glowing multicolored lights that looks like the perfect setting for a dance party–but instead he’s looking straight into the camera, shirtless, baring his soul through his lyrics.
Over a melancholy backing track, mainly constructed from a sample of Beach House’s “Myth,” Lloyd spits lines like “For someone who talks about love as much as I do, to be honest with you, I don’t have a fucking clue.” As the song continues, the music heightens the dramatic emotion coming through in the lyrics, and Lloyd lets some of that emotion creep into his voice. His even-keeled rapping soon turns into something that’s not quite yelling, and not quite singing either. Realizing that his openness has put him in line for criticism, he deflects any potential disses by saying “Maybe I should learn to sing before I grab this mic, but maybe I don’t give a fuck, cuz to me it sounds a’ight.” To me it sounds a good bit more than all right–it sounds real, and that beats being perfect anytime.
By the last verse, the song has turned autobiographical, with Lloyd making references to growing up on the beach, learning to skate as a pre-teen, moving out of his dad’s house, and early loves and heartbreaks. The video changes at this point too, and we see a fully clothed Lloyd, still alone, climbing a hill outside of Los Angeles (where he’s living these days) and looking down on the city. The video’s depiction of this journey mirrors the song’s emotional journey, and the way it fades out is simultaneously pensive and hopeful. Whether this is what we should expect from Crucial Style Vol. 1 as a whole is an open question–after all, the other song Lloyd’s released from the tape, “Kissed Her On The Mouth” (see the video here), is a standard bass-driven hip hop tune full of braggadocio. But part of what made Rose & Vines so good was the way it contained a variety of moods and musical genres, all of which sounded great on their own and fit well together. Hopefully that’s what we can expect from Crucial Style Vol. 1 as well. We’re not sure when the full tape will drop (once it does, we’ll let you know), but you can keep an eye on what Lloyd’s up to at the following links:
By Andrew Necci