Texarkana Gazette

Ginuwine stays true to his roots

R&B artist will perform April 1 in Texarkana

- By Erin DeBlanc

TEXARKANA, Ark. — Ginuwine is coming to Texarkana to perform at The Dapper at Park Place on April 1.

Known for his hit R&B songs like “Pony” and “In Those Jeans,” Ginuwine quickly became a ’90s sensation. He remains relevant, working on his eighth studio album, “Same Ol’ G,” and helping numerous emerging artists remix or sample his music.

Born Elgin Baylor Lumpkin, he grew up in the housing projects of Maryland and Washington, D.C., which serve as a source of inspiratio­n for his music. Ginuwine lives in Maryland near his family and the place where everything began.

“I’m from Washington, D.C., just a little kid from the ghetto in Maryland. You know, for me to come as far as I’ve come, it’s truly a blessing and I’ve always stayed true to my name,” Ginuwine said in a recent interview with the Gazette. “So that’s a great thing within itself, and that’s why I’ve never left my home. My family is here, so I’m not going anywhere. ”

In the 1990s, Ginuwine became a member of Swing Mob, a group discovered by

Jodeci member DeVonte Swing, where he met lifelong collaborat­ors and friends Timbaland and Missy Elliot. Elliot and Timbaland are confirmed to be featured on Ginuwine’s upcoming album.

Swing Mob produced “Pony” for Ginuwine’s first album, “The Bachelor,” and the song became a worldwide hit in 1996.

“That’s my first song that blew me up and made me start to become that artist that you know as Ginuwine and still been here for 26 years,” he said

His second album, “100% Ginuwine,” was released in 1999 and features the single “So Anxious.”

After the success of his first two albums, Ginuwine was rocked by the death of both his parents and a friend, which forced him to work through life-altering issues.

“There was a time in my life where I was going through a lot of rough patches in my life, and I was able to pull myself through, through music and through family,” he said.

His trials led him to write the song “Difference­s,” released in 2001.

“’Difference­s’ is one of my favorite songs to perform. (It’s) meaningful to me,” he said. “Everytime I hear that song, it just puts me back in that mode and reminds me of what I’ve been through and came through. It’s one of those things where it keeps you grounded. So I’m glad and I’m happy that I made it through that rough patch in my life with my family and my mom and dad and all that. That was one of the reasons I did that song.”

While writing “Difference­s,” Ginuwine was married with a baby on the way but still suffering from the loss of his parents. Music was a therapeuti­c outlet to express himself and heal.

“It truly helped me, and it kept me sane in many respects.”

Now, he’s a father on the road, doing what he’s always done, producing music and performing to crowds of fans.

While the state of R&B has shifted since the ’90s, Ginuwine still respects and encourages emerging artists to create.

“Anytime I see any artist that’s new, that’s coming out, you know I see them on IG (Instagram) all the time, I try to give them love and show them respect because you can’t stay in your world. You know I’m a ’90s baby and you know I’m biased when it comes to that. I think that the ’90s was the best time, but at the end of the day you still have to respect the new artists that are coming up. So I’m trying to reach out to a lot of them also,” he said.

Ginuwine understand­s that this is “their” time, when it comes to the current world of R&B artistry.

“It would be stupid and foul and wrong of me to down what’s going on in music now,” he said. “This is a new time. I’m not one of those older artists that tries to adhere to what’s going on now and try to sound like the young artists that are out now. I don’t do that. My family, my fan base, they’re still here, so they want to hear what I’ve been doing and the things that they grew up on.”

Despite continuing to march to the beat of his own drum, Ginuwine takes time to acknowledg­e and appreciate younger artists who are changing the genre of R&B, often reaching out to them directly to say thank you if they sample his music.

In the past, Ginuwine has worked with songwriter Static Major, but for “Same Ol’ G,” he’s taking a more open, patient approach, not necessaril­y seeking out talent, but allowing the production process to flow organicall­y.

“I’m not rushing anything. I’m gonna make sure that anything that I put out — features, whatever — it’s gonna be on the level in which I left,” he said.

Ginuwine’s music has helped shape R&B, along with his own sources of inspiratio­n like Bobby Brown and New Edition. He hopes his music and legacy will endure.

“Just to be known as somebody, whether it’s one song, two songs, three songs, whatever, just to be known as someone that truly inspired someone or a generation of music, that’s love and blessings within itself.”

(Ginuwine will perform at the Dapper at Park Place on Friday for the Rhythm and Blues Fools event. Performanc­es begin at 8 p.m. For more informatio­n, call Ryan at 903-306-9273 or Rose at 903-949-2676.)

 ?? AP Photo/Julio Cortez ?? ■ Singer Ginuwine performs during halftime of the CIAA women’s championsh­ip NCAA college basketball game between Lincoln University and Elizabeth City State University on Feb. 26 in Baltimore.
AP Photo/Julio Cortez ■ Singer Ginuwine performs during halftime of the CIAA women’s championsh­ip NCAA college basketball game between Lincoln University and Elizabeth City State University on Feb. 26 in Baltimore.

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