Ginuwine Says He Could Dance Circles Around Channing Tatum (No Flips Allowed)
And he loves that Missy Elliott is making a big comeback.
Ginuwine, the genius responsible for the male stripper anthem of the century, the one featured in Wednesday's nuclear Magic Mike XXL trailer, 100 percent believes he can take Channing Tatum in a one-on-one dance-off. (But there's a catch: Tatum can't do any flips.)
Ginuwine, real name Elgin Baylor Lumpkin, is 44 years old. His song "Pony" was released nearly 20 years ago, in 1996. "Back in the day, when 'Pony' came out, I don't believe there was anyone that could dance like me," Ginuwine tells The Hollywood Reporter. "I had this confidence, like Chris Brown. Now, it's harder to say, but as long as Channing stays on his feet, I believe I could take him."
He added, "If he starts flipping, no way."
Despite Tatum's acrobatic advantages, Ginuwine says Tatum still owes him, at least partially, for his success in the dance world. "I believe I inspired him. Everybody is inspired by someone. I was inspired by James Brown, Michael Jackson and Prince."
But Ginuwine, who hasn't yet had the chance to meet the Magic Mike cast, says he owes Tatum a great deal as well. "He's made me stay out there," the singer says. "He's allowed people to continue to know who I am. I'm grateful for that. I'm not sure if it was his idea to use ['Pony'] in the movie, but it's been a great experience. I wrote the song in 1993. It came out in 1996. To see it sustain this amount of power for so long, it's a great thing."
The stripper connection only makes it better. "When I first came out with it, I didn't think it would be a stripper song," he says. "It just became that type of song. That's amazing. I don't really get why it did, besides the hook, but I'm glad." (Asked to name another great stripper jam, Ginuwine suggested "Freak Me" by Silk.)
The singer also applauded the recent resurgence of other '90s music influences in pop culture (Missy Elliott's Super Bowl appearance and Timbaland's Empire score), saying the phenomenon could be due to a large overlap between the fan bases (ranging from 20-somethings to 50-somethings) and active social media users. "People are seeing that we ['90s artists] are still out there. That's a great thing. Now if only they would go back out and buy CDs again."
The '90s resurgence doesn't end here, either. Ginuwine says he's planning a six-date Australian tour with TLC this spring. He's also set to appear in the upcoming film Paid in Full, starring Jonathan Bennett, and the male stripper movie Chocolate City. He's also developing a marijuana-themed animated show called Buddies.
Because why not.