Of all the sleek and sultry beats that Timbaland has provided for countless grateful artists, the greatest may be the one that Ginuwine rides with total confidence and panache on “Pony.” A frisky yet futuristic-sounding hit that sounded like nothing else on the radio in 1996, “Pony” became a launchpad for the D.C.-bred vocalist and his innovative producer pal. The collaboration between the men known to their families as Elgin Lumpkin and Tim Mosley began when they were both members of Swing Mob, the early-‘90s hip-hop/R&B collective (founded by Jodeci’s DeVante Swing) that also included Missy Elliott. With his sensual delivery and handsome looks, Ginuwine was perfectly cast in the lover-man role he plays throughout 1996’s Ginuwine… The Bachelor, a self-assured debut that spawned five more equally seductive singles after “Pony” broke through. Timbaland’s spacy, bass-heavy production sound was just as pronounced on 1999’s 100% Ginuwine, a collection of slinky yet vanguard neo-soul that reached peak gorgeousness on “So Anxious.” Throughout the next two decades, Ginuwine expanded his team of collaborators to include Raphael Saadiq and Trackmasters, as well as his fellow R&B heartthrobs Tyrese and Tank in the supergroup TGT. But regardless of who Ginuwine has in his corner, his finesse remains his defining quality.
BORNOctober 15, 1970