NEW YORK — You wouldn’t know it by the way Ginuwine was grinding up against his dark-skinned honey as she began to bend over with her hands on the wall, but the R&B bachelor was in deep concentration. Don’t talk to him, stay out of his eyesight and whatever you do, NO PICTURES! Those were the rules on the set. (Click for photos from the set.)
Gin, who was going back and forth from freaking “that girl like he’s trying to have a baby” and performing solo dance sets in front of director Benny Boom and the film crew, halted recording of his new LP, The Senior, in Miami to come to club Twirl on Sunday for the shooting of Fat Joe’s “Crush Tonight” (see “Fat Joe Won’t Dance With Ginuwine, But Records With R. Kelly” ).
“It’s a party song so all we doing is partying, having fun,” said Ginuwine, who recently cut off his trademark cornrows in favor of a low fade (“[I’m working on my] fourth album so it’s a new look, reinventing myself,” he explained. “Something to get a little attention. I wanted to try it out on my boy Joe’s video.”).”[We’re doing] what we would do at a club. Kick it, sign autographs and be with the girls.”
By 4 p.m., three football teams’ worth of models were in the YMCA across the street waiting to get the nod from the casting director. Joe had shot his first performance sequence and was chilling up in his bus that doubled as a dressing room/ Terror Squad holding pen. And Ginuwine was in front of the cameras improvising, highlighted by a nifty move where the chain and giant Terror Squad pendant he was wearing stayed in place around his neck while he turned his entire body around.
“The scene in itself was a good scene, the girl of course, she was fly,” Ginuwine said minutes after waking up from a nap on his bus while getting his makeup done for a scene where he and Joe make their grand entrance into the club.
In the interim, Wyclef, his cousin Jerry Wonder and Clef’s right hand man Beast made an even more grandiose off-camera arrival, rolling up in three 2003 fully chrome Harley-Davidson motorcycles with engines made by Porsche.
“Fat Joe, he ain’t like an artist to me, he’s more like a personal friend,” Wyclef said of why he wanted to come down and rep the big man. “I got the utmost respect for him and I love the way he’s evolving through the years. I think this is gonna be one of his biggest albums. He’s somebody I been following since the beginning and he’s getting stronger every year.”
NBA All-Star Stephon Marbury, who appears in the clip, had already come and gone with the speed he runs fast breaks with. Meanwhile, 3LW’s Adrienne, DJ Kay Slay, Fabolous, DJ Clue, Swizz Beatz, Capone and a road-weary N.O.R.E. also came to show love to Joe and were cooling out until it was time to film their cameos in the club’s VIP section.
“I ain’t sleep in seven days,” N.O.R.E. said, standing outside Twirl. “I just came straight here from a flight. I been working too hard. I just been doing crazy shows and working on the new CNN album at the same time. It’s a little hectic right now but Joey’s my man. Anything he do, I’m supporting.”
“That’s my brother,” Capone said of Joey Crack. “We support each other to the fullest. It’s a spectacular event.”
“I was just thinking about that,” the man of the hour (or 18 hours — that’s how long the cameras were rolling) said about the support he was garnering. “I’m so wrapped around my music and finishing my album and all that, sometime you don’t get to see all the love you got. When you got Wyclef here, N.O.R.E., Stephon, it’s a good feeling to know that n—as love you and they’re here to support. A lot of times you don’t see it in hip-hop, but leave it to me to be the guy who gets that.”
And with all that amore, who could huff and puff, even if Joe was asked to work overtime?
“I do whatever they tell me to do,” Joe said with a smile about the extra long day of shooting. “Any way you put it, there’s no way around it, videos are exhausting. They’re stressful, but we gotta bust our ass for that one day. I’ll complain about it tomorrow. Once you do it and you bust your ass, you know you gonna get the best results. The first scene we did was crazy hot. Ginuwine did his sh–. I’m about to unveil the fur chinchilla. It’s about to be real crazy.”
Joe’s new LP, Loyalty, drops on November 12. The video for “Crush Tonight” is scheduled to hit the air in the next few weeks. Ginuwine, meanwhile, has just started production on The Senior. Among his wish list of collaborators are Ja Rule, Snoop Dogg and Mary J. Blige.
For a feature interview with Fat Joe, check out “Fat Joe: Bigger Than Ever.”