This week's big news from perpetually rising R&B heartthrob Lloyd--real name, no gimmick--isn't new album King of Hearts, which hit the streets Tuesday. It's the new tattoo he's sporting, a colorless melange of guns, roses, and shading inked around the back of his head like a piece of especially masterful barbershop art, a complicated twist on the classic fade style. Lots of people have tattoos on their heads; psych-ward MC Gucci Mane notably had a lightning-bolt-sprouting ice-cream cone etched into his cheek in blood-blister fashion not so long ago.
But where Gimme Noise worried that impressionable youth would follow Gucci's example, we'd actually like to see them take some pointers from Lloyd. After all, if you're going to take the tattoo plunge, why not be savvy about where that pulsating needle mutilates you?
1. The Peek-A-Boo Tattoo
The big issue with tattoos, for most folks, is this: Once they're on you, you can't escape them. Day in and day out, there they are, staring back at you, reminding you--and in some cases, friends, family members, and strangers--that at one point it totally made sense for you to have Leatherface or the Chinese symbol for "perseverance" or the Black Flag bars or a barcode tatted into your flesh. If Lloyd wants to forget about his tat for a while, all he has to do is avoid his barber for a couple weeks, or a couple months, and presto: no tattoo! It's gone--until he's ready to let somebody take an electric shaver to his noggin again.
2. It's fun to imagine that Lloyd uses Guns & Roses to set the mood for romantic encounters
A little "Welcome to the Jungle," maybe "Get in the Ring," you know? Some air guitar, some strangulated yowling into a hair brush while wearing an authentic, signed Slash hat. The kind of stuff freaky European groupies love. Also, Axl was rocking braids a few years ago--a look that would fit Lloyd like a glove, if he ever felt compelled to go that route.
3. Jay-Z's "Guns and Roses" was kind of awesome and featured Lenny Kravitz, who Lloyd kind of resembled during the 106 & Park episode where Lloyd's tat made its debut
Honestly, I threw this one in because, well, you should break out your copy of The Blueprint 2 if you haven't lately; it's hardly as solid as other Jay-Z records, but it's got some great cuts, albeit great cuts that don't feature the uniquely baby-making croon of one Lloyd Polite Jr. (Side note: Lloyd also strongly resembles comedian Tommy Davidson in that photograph.)
4. Fine Art
Bellyaching about the inability of rising generation to appreciate the arts is nothing new, but the concept of the high-profile, celebrity scalp as the new canvas/gallery-wall is certainly worth contemplating, and perhaps pursuing. Why shouldn't our most promising, talented artistes partner with our most shameless, willing media-whores to disseminate high culture in a way that the average person might best absorb and appreciate it? Why shouldn't Lady Gaga have the cover of Born This Way tatted over each breast, pastie-style, forever?