Ginuwine’s professional career as a recording artist can be summed up into an impressive 15 years. For his fans, 1996 feels like yesterday, but for today’s market for hip-hop and R&B, that’s how long the new generation of consumers have been living on Earth.
When you’re a father who takes his children to school and a husband who takes care of his home, competing with former Pretty Ricky band members and auto-tune can seem like a whirlwind of progress that you haven’t been apart of. The music has evolved to a more emotionally tolerant genre called rap and an overtly sexually stimulated genre called R&B, which is great for younger fans, but hard for mature fans who thought “Pony” was as vulgar as it gets.
Is it true that a married man can lose his mojo when he was on top of the world as a single man? Ginuwine doesn’t seem to have lost his touch. Many would argue that it’s not possible, but when Usher runs into a wall, some might change their minds. With his sixth album, A Man’s Thoughts, Ginuwine planned an adventurous experience for his mature audience to enjoy.
“I’m trying to have them grow with me and show them that I’m still here,” says Ginuwine to BallerStatus. “But I’m definitely older and more mature and this is how I’m expressing myself now, because the people that followed me from the beginning are a little older too.”
Growth for Ginuwine has hit a few corners of his life. In his career, Ginuwine solely played a major part in the success of his singles from “Pony” to “In Those Jeans” to “Differences,” but has allowed as many as ten producers and songwriters to work with him on A Man’s Thoughts to help tell the story he is trying to convey. After creating as many as 43 songs for the album, working with producers like Troy Oliver who understands Ginuwine’s vision and helped the progression go over smoothly.
“I did so many songs in a week that [Troy Oliver] couldn’t even make the beats fast enough,” Ginwine confessed. “I would just write and write and write before he finished the other beat I actually finished the song.”
The other corner that has endured change can be seen in his relationships — the ones fans have grown attached to throughout his 15 year career span. On A Man’s Thoughts, fans got excited to see a Timbaland produced song with Missy and Ginuwine teasing fans with their reunion for the song “Get Involved,” but that’s as far as a reunion has gone.
“I kind of went down there and talked to Tim. He gave me the songs that he gave me and we did them and I did everything that I could to reunite us as a crew,” says Ginuwine. “We called Missy and Missy said ‘Yes.’ She got on the record.”
In Missy’s case, the power of the internet has disabled the old times of physically spending time in the studio together since producers and artists could email music files to each other instead of physically connecting. Although the reunion of Timbaland, Missy and Ginuwine may seem bleak, the veteran seems very optimistic about making it happen. “Hopefully we’ll be able to get in there physically together and actually come up with some hits,” Ginuwine says with hope. “We started out together, we made it together, we experienced many things together and hopefully that magic will be created once again before it’s all over.”
Even now with his new album A Man’s Thoughts, Ginuwine is constantly reminded that his legacy lies in his work. While filming his video for his second single, “Trouble,” everyone’s phone went off to deliver the devastating news of Michael Jackson’s passing. Throughout Ginuwine’s career, the late and great Michael Jackson has heavily influenced him in how he preforms and executes his quality of work, so the news of his passing was quite mind blowing to say the least.
“I never had the opportunity to see that man or meet him, but I just felt real hurt.” Ginuwine describes that experience as an important moment that stands out when it doesn’t directly retain to you just like the other two instances he can recall. “One was when Mike Tyson got knocked out by Buster Douglas and the Dallas Cowboys winning the Super Bowl.”
Despite the changes that has gone on with Ginuwine over the past years — from marriage to refining old friendships — he stays hard at work putting out the best music he can make, even if he is maturing. Artists want the right to display versatility and growth in their music, as would an author, a painter, or even a poet. That’s not how the music business works, though. Being consistent and creating sexually strong songs for fans, who are growing younger and younger, can be a difficult task for artists who want to vent about marriage, parenthood, settling down, and just being happy with life.
“I just feel like if you’re going to mature in the business, you have to tackle things different and do things in different ways and that’s what I set out to do with A Man’s Thoughts,” explains Ginuwine.
And that’s what Ginuwine will always contribute in the ever-evolving industry, no matter how much it may change.