He wants “In Those Jeans.” He wants you to ride his “Pony.” And though you may have had your “Differences” over the years, there’s no need to feel “So Anxious.” He’s always been the “Same Ol’ G.” This week, R&B sensation Ginuwine releases his seventh (!) album, Elgin. Only the word “sensation” isn’t quite right. Ginuwine has never gotten the respect quite due him. He’s a megawatt talent who can dance like Michael, hit the high notes like Prince, get down and dirty like D’Angelo and emote like R. Kelly. He’s a fantastic live performer, a genius songwriter, and though his career has kept him in the public spotlight for well over a decade, he’s still never gotten the acclaim or achieved the status of other R&B acts who wouldn’t be fit to draw his bath water. But hey, if that means he’ll make an appearance at the FYE at 100 S. Broad St. from 6 to 8 p.m. to sign autographs and meet fans like he is this Thursday, Feb. 17, I guess I’m fine with it. 100%.
10. Had anyone else been given the name “Elgin Baylor Lumpkin,” they would’ve surely lived a life cowering in the shadows after the constant ridicule and name-calling they would’ve no-doubt received in junior high. Man that he is, Elgin-uwine uses his God given name for the title of his seventh album.
9. Speaking of which, how many R&B artists nowadays make it to their seventh album. That in itself, is a feat.
8. A few years ago, Ginuwine formed a band with Tyrese and Tank called TGT. Can you imagine?! That’s a tour-de-force trio. Nothing ever came of it, unfortunately (conflicting schedules), but that’s the R&B equivalent of the Super Super Blues Band (Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters and Bo Diddley).
7. Full disclosure: I’m a huge fan. I’ve seen the man perform more than half a dozen times and he’s always killed it. With the six-pack abs of a young D’Angelo, the “how’d he do that?” dance moves of a young Usher and the exceptional vocal range of a young R. Kelly, he's always had the best shows. I’ve seen him sandwiched between acts like Master P and Ying Yang Twins (remember them?) or Donnell Jones and Marc Nelson (remember them?) and he’s always, always been the highlight.
6. He’s the only guy in the world cool enough to endorse Adult Chocolate Milk—“an alcohol-infused twist on a childhood classic” (translation: a horrible concoction that combines chocolate milk with vodka). And though thinking about how low a man like him would have had to sink to become the face of such a shit product makes you feel the kind of sick you got when you found out the girl from Family Matters was doing porn, you must admit “Ginuwine as Milkman” is a good look. (See photo.)
5. 100% is a modern masterpiece. Seriously, go listen to it. Now more than 10 years since its release, it still holds up while albums by other artists of the era—Jodeci and Tony! Toni! Toné!—sound dated. Ginuwine’s sophomore effort will sound perfect 100 years from now too.
4. Dude came up in the game with Aaliyah, Missy Elliot and Timbaland. GAME RECOGNIZE GAME.
3. He made his feature film debut in the amazing, gender-bending basketball comedy Juwanna Mann as a pace-quickening lothario named Romeo. Put that shit in your Netflix queue immediately.
2. There is simply no greater song than “Pony.” And there is no greater proof than a website dedicated solely to people dancing to an epic jam (dancingalonetopony.tumblr.com). Many have tried (Ne-Yo, Trey Songz, etc.), but none will ever reach the Olympian heights of this bonafide sultry sex jam. “Pony” will be played at my funeral.
1. “If you’re horny, let’s do it/ Ride it, my pony.”
PW's Music Issue 2014