|Next Project:||A Man's Thoughts|
|Twitter:||Ginuwine on Twitter|
Though every R&B artist enters the game striving to make timeless music, there’s something to be said for talent that’s time-tested. Since he hit the scene as a swingin’ Bachelor back in ‘96, Ginuwine has proven himself as one of the genre’s greats with a string of classic releases, and established a devoted fanbase always hungry for more of his uniquely seductive vocal stylings. Having emerged from a four-year hiatus following the release of his fifth LP, G is now preparing to reclaim the game like “Jordan, fourth quarter, in ‘92.”
Ginuwine’s forthcoming sixth album, A Man’s Thoughts, may not be his “Last Chance” at returning to the spotlight, but the singer’s come this far by bringing his ‘A’ game to every release and he’s not about to stop now. Set to drop June 23rd, the LP will showcase an artist with a newfound maturity and a renewed commitment to making music both grown and sexy.
In an exclusive interview with our own DJ “Z,” Ginuwine steps into the Booth to discuss how both his personal outlook and the R&B game as a whole have changed since he went Back II the Basics in ‘05, whether he’s had to tone down his stage show to match his more “tasteful” image, and which cuts from his extensive catalog are best suited for wedding rotation.
Listen to the Interview
Ginuwine Interview Transcription
DJ Booth: What’s goin’ on, everybody? It’s your boy, “Z,” doin’ it real big, and joining me inside the DJ Booth is an artist whose music helped me get my groove on in junior high. Back on the scene after a brief hiatus from the record industry and excitedly preparing for the summer release of his sixth studio album, A Man’s Thoughts please welcome my man Ginuwine—how you doin’?
Ginuwine: What up, Z, what’s happening? It’s G, thank you for havin’ me on. How’s everything goin’ with you?
DJ Booth: Everything’s great. Thank you for joining me inside the DJ Booth. It’s kinda surreal, I’ve gotta be honest with you, from someone who’s collected your entire catalog and been a fan of yours dating all the way back to about 1995, ‘96.
Ginuwine: Wow, that’s big… thank you, man. I appreciate it, brother. I’m glad you love the music the way you do; it’s you that makes me.
DJ Booth: You know what the difference is, though? Now I’m the bachelor—you’re not The Bachelor anymore.
Ginuwine: Ha, is that right? So I know you play that first one all the time, then.
DJ Booth: You’ve got that right. Speaking of which, you released your debut in ‘96, so, two-part question: one, what do you feel has changed the most for you in your personal life over the last 13 years, and what do you think has changed the most in the R&B game over that same time period?
Ginuwine: Well, as far as for me, I think with age comes wisdom. Everyone knows, the more time that passes, you look at life and the world from a different perspective. So I’m just a little more mature now, and I’m very careful in things that I do. Because of my family and the girls and all that, I’m a little more cautious about what I do—I’m not as explicit as I once was. And that’s pretty much what’s changed with me. You still get me as Ginuwine, you still get who you used to on the stage, but you get a more tasteful Ginuwine. And as far as the radio or music or whatever, that’s changed significantly. I think the depth of R&B has changed tremendously—like, it’s not the way it used to be, and for a while there’s been a big void in R&B. R&B has [taken] a couple of steps back, many steps back, and I’m just tryin’ to fill that void and bring it back up for R&B once again and get us back on top and do my part as an R&B artist.
DJ Booth: You cited that now, because of the maturation process you, your act is a little bit more tasteful and a little less explicit. I’m sure all the women listening are thinking, “Does that mean, when he performs, he’ll have his shirt buttoned now and have no baby oil?”
Ginuwine: [laughs] Nah, that still comes off, but again, it comes off in a tasteful manner.
DJ Booth: The top hat, though—are you gonna rock the top hat?
Ginuwine: The top hat is not… I’ve got a new style, so that doesn’t come into play. I’ll leave that to T-Pain. I actually was usin’ that for the TGT group that we once formed, and that was my little character.
DJ Booth: Okay, so unbuttoned shirt, no more top hat, what about the baby oil?
Ginuwine: Oh, that, definitely! But after a while you’re sweatin’ so much it really doesn’t matter!
DJ Booth: Exactly. G, does the time in between your last project, which was ‘05’s Back to the Basics, and the new album, A Man’s Thoughts, mean that you’re treating this project like a comeback album?
Ginuwine: Well, yeah, I would like to think so, but also it’s really one of those CDs that, I’m just happy, you know what I’m sayin’? So it’s a CD that you can put on and tell where I am in life. And it’s sort of like a comeback album, but I don’t like to look at it like that; I like to look at it like the title of my single, “Last Chance.” Because I feel like, every opportunity that you have, you have to go in feelin’ like this is your last opportunity, so therefore you won’t leave no stone unturned, and you’ll just do everything possible to make it happen for you, and for you to win. So that’s how I approach it, and the single, “Last Chance,” is really symbolic of how I actually feel about me in the industry at this time, ‘cause, again, you never know what’s promised to you—not even tomorrow is promised to you, so you’ve gotta go into every endeavor with that feeling.
DJ Booth: I’m sure everyone’s hoping that this is not your “Last Chance,” but I want to talk about your single, because I did some extensive research. In the song—and I’m not gonna do this anywhere as good you did—[you sing], “If I only have one shot to win, then call me Jordan, fourth quarter in ‘92.” Now, G, as a Chicagoan and a lifelong Michael Jordan fan, I did a little statistical analysis; ‘91 was actually the season that he had his best field-goal percentage, so if you re-recorded this record, your chances might improve.
Ginuwine: You did your homework! But, you know, what I was actually talkin’ about was the game that he played when he was real, real, real sick—it wasn’t really about the most points he scored, it was about how he still went through adversity, facing adversity he played through it and still came out a champion, still came out a winner. So that’s moreso what it was about.
DJ Booth: So you’re comparing that to what you’re going through: facing adversity, coming out on top in the end?
Ginuwine: Exactly. There you go—well put, well put.
DJ Booth: G, a DJBooth correspondent was present at one of your listening sessions, and she described A Man’s Thoughts as “a grown and sexy project.” When you created this new album, was there any pressure from the outside to change your personal musical stylings at all?
Ginuwine: No, actually. I went in the studio, tellin’ myself, “Look, I need a hit.” There was no real direction until the middle of the project, which [is always the case]; that’s when everything starts coming together for me. I did 43 songs for this CD, so I picked the best 14. I’m a person and I’m an artist that believes that, when people spend their money on your CD, they wanna be able to listen to it from the beginning to the end. So that’s why I did so many songs: I wanted to make sure that you definitely listen to this CD from beginning to end.
DJ Booth: You said you recorded 43, 14 made the final cut. I’m not a math major, but that leaves 29 records that will have gone unheard. Describe the selection process, and the criteria that you choose those records from.
Ginuwine: Well, the selection process was really moreso following the title, once I got it. Like I said, I don’t usually come up with a title and all that kind of stuff till the end of the project, so once I came up with A Man’s Thoughts, the songs [I picked] just happened to deal with what men think in certain situations, and how we react to certain things. It’s like medicine for guys, and it’s a solution for the ladies—the ladies don’t know how we’re thinkin’ a lot of times; they can put on my CD, and definitely understand where we’re comin’ from and how we think about things. So this is definitely one of those CDs that should be heard by the masses, you know what I mean?
DJ Booth: So basically, this project is going to put psychologists and authors of self-help books out of work, right?
Ginuwine: Oh yeah, definitely! [laughs] I’m not trying to put anybody out of work at this point, but it’s definitely gonna let [people] in on a couple secrets—not all of ‘em, but a couple secrets.
DJ Booth: G, on the record “Get Involved,” you reunite with former collaborators Timbaland and Missy Elliott. Do you ever think about the direction your career could’ve taken over the current decade, had you continued to work with them very closely?
Ginuwine: You’re saying, had it stayed that way the whole time? Nah… each of us went our separate ways, on our own journeys, and tried to make other things happen. A lot of times, artists and producers wanna show that they can do it without the same sound or the same person all the time, and that’s pretty much what happened: everyone wanted to prove to [themselves] that they could, and we all did, but, at the end of the day, no one can create that magic we once [had], so the only thing to do to make that happen again is to get back together and make that happen again.
DJ Booth: Exactly. And it’s for the benefit of the listeners; obviously, they’ll be happy with it.
Ginuwine: Exactly, absolutely.
DJ Booth: You recently recorded a remix to Keri Hilson’s “Turnin’ Me On,” in which you sing, “When it comes to bein’ smooth, I ain’t got nothin’ to prove,” and, really, that’s a true statement. But, when it comes to this album, what do you think you have to prove to everybody?
Ginuwine: That I’m still relevant, and I still can make you move, I still can touch your heart, I still can do all the things that I once did back in the day. I think I’ve done that with this CD, and I’ll be able to prove that—once the people get it, they’ll be able to understand and know that Ginuwine has never left, I just took a break. And, hey, everyone needs a break once in a while; it’s how you come back that matters, and I think this will prove that I’m Jordan in ‘92: a champion once again.
DJ Booth: Early last year, there was lots of hype surrounding the TGT project with yourself, Tyrese, and Tank. You alluded to it earlier in our interview. Simply put, G, what exactly happened and are we ever gonna hear of the group?
Ginuwine: Actually, we’re gonna revisit it maybe later, but right now it’s all about what I’m doin’. You know, the TGT thing couldn’t work itself out because we all were under different labels, and each label didn’t wanna give their artist up to make another label rich. It was a business situation, nothing to do with us. We did shows and we did a couple songs and we did release ‘em. We’re gonna revisit it later, but right now it’s not gonna happen.
DJ Booth: Obviously, since you came into the game in ‘96, we’ve seen hundreds of new male R&B singers try to see the success that you saw earlier in your career. Whose work currently do you feel contains a little bit of that Ginuwine swagger?
Ginuwine: Chris Brown.
DJ Booth: Chris Brown?
Ginuwine: [laughs] As far as his entertainment!
DJ Booth: Yeah… glad you clarified that.
Ginuwine: Yeah, I’ve gotta clarify that one…
DJ Booth: Last question, I’ll let you get out of here after this one: DJBooth.net managing editor Nathan S. is planning a wedding, and he feels it’s only right that a Ginuwine song is on the playlist, however, his fiancée insists that “Pony” isn’t appropriate wedding music. He wanted me to personally ask you, what song from your vast catalog would you recommend they play instead?
DJ Booth: Got a bgackup choice?
Ginuwine: “So Anxious”
DJ Booth: Two great selections, I will certainly let him know.
Ginuwine: All right.
DJ Booth: This June, new album in stores, A Man’s Thoughts. Tell everyone why, if they’re not already excited about the prospect of picking up a new Ginuwine album, why they need to be out and available to get that album when it is.
Ginuwine: You’ve gotta get this album because it’s one of the few albums that you can get that you can put in from the beginning to the end and listen to it and enjoy it and have fun. You know what you get when you [buy] Ginuwine, you know every CD is a great one. I’m still here after 14 years, and there’s gotta be a reason why I’m still here, so you go get that June 23rd, A Man’s Thoughts.
DJ Booth: Absolutely. G, give everybody a website or a MySpace page so they can find out more about you.
DJ Booth: There we have it! And if they don’t get their fill on either of your MySpace pages, they can certainly find out more about you on DJBooth.net. G, thank you so much for joinin’ me inside the DJ Booth. It was a pleasure.
Ginuwine: No doubt, Z! Thank you for havin’ me. I appreciate it and God bless you.