When entertainment comes to show its colors it is automatically associated with the performer. Well, it only makes sense that way. We’ve come to expect certain predictable results based on the source. When it comes to music it is definitely the fact. While certain acts produce consistent results others deliver us ‘one hit wonders’, never to hit the airwaves again after a moment of fame. Audience determines the outcome in most cases. Of course, a record label can influence those. The amount of marketing and advertisement can definitely make or break an artist. Just look at Rihanna. Fresh from Barbados, this barely legal shorty won the hearts of many almost instantly, largely courtesy of the label responsible for rocking fellas all over. Then look at Cheri Dennis. Anxiously anticipating success, this church choir singer comes to NY, wins the heart of this champagne pouring clothing label focused record mogul, whose name changes faster than music styles, and ends up without a single album for almost 6 years, despite the instant ‘princess’ title from the label. Still, at the end of the day it is the performer who will determine the final outcome. After 10 years of mixtapes, Papoose got a sweet deal once earning solid stripes on the streets. It took 7 years even for Em to be picked up and look at that story now.
Between record labels and artists themselves, there is one other, even stronger variable. Audience. Its memory is short-lasting. Its taste varies depending on way too many factors. Its budgets differ but are generally rather limited. Audience, or otherwise known as fans, is quick to judge. It wants instant classics. It rarely allows mistakes. Jay Z sold out 2 shows in major venues literally within 5 minutes without any advertisement. The Wailers had a small concert hall in Times Square only 60 to 70 percent filled despite its legendary status, advertisement and inexpensive price of a ticket.
R&B legends die hard, perhaps it is because there aren’t that many of them out there. Self-proclaimed king of R&B Bobby Brown still has a TV show. R. Kelly sells out Radio City despite overpriced tickets and inability (or unwillingness) to change with the times. Even his pepper spraying incident didn’t hurt his ranks. Jay may have replaced him in his camp with a younger and far less expensive teen, perhaps hoping for his own soul train award. Still, R. Kelly’s fans didn’t even flinch.
R&B hasn’t been as popular in the recent years. Many believe it has been replaced by the pop music of fresh teen acts like Chris Brown and the like. Another R&B legend of the 90’s had a 2 hour line of ladies after the show waiting to take a picture with him. Can you guess his name? Ginuwine’s legacy is well earned. He did not come into the spotlight by an accident. Missy Elliot did not make a wrong call on him. Timbaland did not produce his tracks for years for no apparent reason. Hundreds of thousands of albums did not get sold with every new album due to an uncalled hype.
Watching Ginuwine perform is an experience unmatched. Highly professional artist takes the stage years after the peak of his fame and proves that there is just something different about him. Highly theatrical and relentlessly talented, Ginuwine acts out his passion for music in front of a packed house of crazed fans and feels good about it. It is definitely a justified feeling. In the recent past, with the exception of Sean Paul and LL Cool J, women have not gone this mad in their momentary bliss of happiness, with a performer on stage. Yes, his crowd is mostly filled with ladies. Different sizes, different colors, different reasons and all for the same purpose. To give themselves a moment of warranted happiness, to get close to the man, who takes their heart away with every song, ladies will forget all for a short while of this performance.
Those emotions did not go in vain. G worked hard for it his entire career and the night of his show was not an exception. 4 outfits changed, several well-rehearsed Hollywood-like acts, non-stop dance moves and a number of back up dancers were all there to support his claim to fame. Pulling girls from the crowd to sing snippets of their favorite songs or dance with Ginuwine’s troop made the whole experience largely interactive.
The absolute highlight of his audience involvement was getting a man on stage to propose to his girl in front of a full house. Lucky for all she said ‘Yes.’
“I pledge my allegiance to all the ladies at BB Kings.” He proclaimed and their hearts melted. But what would be a sex symbol without a little teasing? “If you want to be kissed, I’ll kiss you. If you want to be licked, I’ll lick you. If you want to be f—ed, I’ll f—, you. That is the difference between me and other R&B n—- out there.” Establishing his superiority further he talks about his upcoming record: “I love all R&B artists, but when my album comes out I will set the record straight.” Pledging his allegiance to the hood he adds: “Some might not know who this is here. They can act like they don’t know. The hood knows!”
Then in a gracious move he throws it out: “I gotta separate myself from all those other n—-, so I’ll come out and take pictures with the ladies after the show.” Little did he know what the cost of that move would end up being. 2 hours later and hundreds of satisfied ladies behind, apparently wiped but visibly energized Ginuwine answers a few questions.
A few minutes after the interview Ginuwine jumps into the back seat of a black SUV. He leaves a memorable experience of a great show behind. His passion for R&B and his confidence in its future promises many more wonderful encounters like this night in the future.