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An Answer to the ‘Oh-No-No’ Question: ‘Who’s Ginuwine?’

If you don’t watch Parks and Recreation, here’s what you need to know for the sake of this post:

Tom Haverford and Ann Perkins are opposites who attracted and recently began dating. Donna Meagle, a friend and co-worker of both Haverford and Perkins, is cousins with Ginuwine. Haverford loves Ginuwine and “Girl [Perkins] doesn’t even know who Ginuwine is.”

Haverford has an “oh-no-nos” list, which is essentially his dating deal breakers. Not loving 1990’s R&B music is number three on said list.

Oh. No. No.

OK, I’m going to ignore the fact that this is from a TV show because I know there are a lot of people on this earth who have no idea who Ginuwine is. Admittedly, this news is less surprising than the truth that people don’t know who Paul McCartney is.

I was born in the 1980s, but most of my childhood memories are soaked in the awesomeness of the 1990s. When it comes to secular music, I was raised on rock ‘n’ roll (thanks to mom), R & B and oldies (thanks to dad), and when I was able to start making bad decisions, a lot of unmentionable artists in unidentifiable genres (thanks a lot to everyone who didn’t stop me).

The point is, I was singing along to Ginuwine (and the like) before I knew what he was singing about.

So, if you want a chance with the fictional character Haverford, or need to catch up after being trapped under a rock that doesn’t like R & B music, allow me to enlighten you.

Who’s Ginuwine?

Elgin Baylor Lumpkin. Yes, that’s his birth name. Naturally, his first career move was to create a stage name: Ginuwine, which sounds sort of like genuine and in the fashion of wine, gets better with age (debatable).

His career began in 1996 with Ginuwine…the Bachelor. He has released six albums since then, his most recent, Elgin, in February 2011. Of those works, numerous have been platinum and multi-platinum selling.

In addition to these achievements, Ginuwine has:

  • Contributed to the world’s population, with the baby-conceiving R & B he consistently delivered during the 1990s.
  • Recorded “Pony,” what Shane McKillops of Gardens & Villa said is, “the sexiest, most bumping, party song ever.”
  • Inspired a lot of people to follow their dreams, if those dreams involve dancing alone to “Pony.”
  • Been Ginuwine. Accomplishment enough.

Who is Ginuwine?

As Haverford said, “Ginuwine? Ginuwine is Ginuwine. He’s Ginuwine.”


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