Of all my favorite albums, I’d have to say that Ginuwine’s The Bachelor is by far, one of the best. Its got to be top 5, top 3 even. The R&B album burst into the scene in 1996, making noise all over the radio with the album’s lead and biggest single, Pony. When that song came out I was in middle school, too young to understand the importance of that song, its sound, the album from which it came from or even music in general. I was focused on getting through middle school, spending my days reading comic books and trying to work up the courage to talk to girls that I liked. Pony was futuristic, catchy and sexy. It made me want to dance when back when I didn’t even know how to.
Fast forward four years later, I’m in Pueblo, getting more into music, and still unsure of what I wanted out of life. This was the point in life where I was getting tired of listening to what MTV or the radio told me to. I wanted to hear music that everyone else didn’t have in their cars. I used to be one of those people that would buy a CD and just listen to the single and disregard the rest of the album. I hungered for more music. But more specifically, more of the same music. Around this time my brother and I started paying attention to producers. We started getting an ear for beats and the writers who laced the tracks. Timbaland, from the beginning was one of my favorites. So naturally my search for new music lead me to acquire the complete works of Timbaland and the now legendary “Basement Crew”. During my search I rediscovered The Bachelor.
I had already owned 100%, the most recent Missy album, I was bumping the Romeo Must Die Soundtrack (which had just came out) and by this time I had already decided that Ginuwine was my favorite singer. I based that decision purely on 100% & a Ginuwine performance at the Soul Train Awards. I knew his new album The Story (later renamed The Life) was coming but I needed more of that Ginuwine/ Timbaland music to sustain me, so I went back in time and rediscovered The Bachelor.
While listening to the intro inspired by Bryan Singer’s Usual Suspects movie, I thought “How could I have missed this? This is amazing!” The beat was incredible and it lead perfectly into Pony. Static’s trademark writing and Ginuwine’s unique voice sounded new to me. Tell Me Do You Wanna, Lonely Daze, Ginuwine 4 Your Mind blew my mind. Only When Your Lonely struck a special cord with me. I felt that song in my spine. It was real, relatable and deep. It was a combination of the mood, the writing, the futuristic production and Ginuwine’s passionate singing that made me love every track. The songs project a vulnerability and a uncertainty in its mood and content that I found very organic. Up until recently, The Bachelor has always been the album that I could relate to and identify the most with. I guess being in a more serious relationship can change this.
Not only did the album establish Ginuwine as a unique and solid artist, but it also made a then relatively unknown producer a force to be reckoned with. Aaliyah’s One in a Million and Missy’s first album also came out at this time. The sound was consistent and they have all stood the test of time.
Each of Ginuwine’s following album’s had their share of hits and strong moments but none of them stood out to me like The Bachelor. Over the years I have seen Ginuwine overcome deep low’s, reach highs on the charts with unexpected hits and I’ve seen his sound change and evolve. I think its a great thing that he is still making music and touring. I love the fact that he still gives it his all on stage (I will actually see him on stage again in a few days by the way.) I do feel however, that over the years his sound has changed dramatically and in as it changed he may have lost touch with a few of the things that made him stand out in a sea of R&B artists. Yes, an artist has to change and evolve to stay relevant but at the same time, a artist also has to keep the qualities that made them unique and noticeable in the first place. Maybe it was Static’s writing, Missy’s involvement, or Timbaland’s beats, but G’s sound has never quite been the same since 100%.
Timbaland or no Timbaland, I’m still a G supporter to the end and I do want to see him get the respect he deserves as an artist. In many ways he is still an underdog. I still believe that there is a lot damage on the charts he could do in the future. And as writers, producers and fans since the beginning, I think The Blackout Beat is in a good position to throw our hats into the ring.
Blackout has had a few close brushes with Ginuwine and a few of his projects (in between his Epic and Notifi deals) but we have always came up short. We have another opportunity this weekend to make a pitch. I think we have evolved quite a bit since our last attempt at working on a Ginuwine record and we are in a position where we could really do something that can bring some new attention to a artist who deserves it. We don’t want to mimic or attempt to recreate his past sound, we want to use the same “outside the box” writing and production that establishes artists and makes everyone notice. We also want to be true to his essence, using our production and writing to reveal Ginuwine at his best, not overdress him with flashy studio plugin’s or production. Like last January’s “Timbaland encounter” or Armando’s “Brandon Flowers letter”, this is another story of us reaching out to the people who inspired us. I can think of no better way of getting into the industry than by working with an idol. I’m optimistic, focused and determined and I intend to stay that way regardless of how our “Ginuwine mission” goes.