If anyone can take the raunchy R&B hit “Pony” and make it all her own, it’s probably Rihanna. And that’s one of the reasons why the man behind the song, Ginuwine, gave the singer the OK to sample it on “Jump,” one of the tracks set to appear on her November 19 album release, Unapologetic.
“You know what? My management told me she wanted to use it, and Rihanna, I’m a fan of hers and I love what she’s doing. Anytime someone uses anything that I’ve done in the past, that’s just one of those things where the respect is there and I can appreciate that and it was a great song and still is,” he told MTV News of Rih’s usage of the defining ’90s jam. “It’s one of the most appreciated songs when I do my shows, that’s one of the songs that gets the most reaction, and for her doing it, I’m appreciative. I thank her for it and hopefully it does well for her.”
With NSFW lyrics that play up Ginuwine’s prowess as a lover (Spoiler alert: He’s not singing about a baby horse), it comes as no surprise that Rihanna would put her gender-bending spin on the track’s infamous chorus. “That’s one of those songs you really can’t mess up anyway. When I heard that she wanted to do it I immediately said ‘OK.’ I signed onboard.
“Well I think it was a universal type song anyway, but you can just flip it just like I know she did it,” he continued. “If anybody in the business can capture the spirit of ‘Pony,’ it would have to be Rihanna. I’m anxious to hear what she’s done to it and at the same time appreciative of her to consider that song from me. Hopefully it does a wonderful job for her like it did for me.”
Released in 1996, the track defines producer Timbaland’s style with a hip-hop beat, Auto-Tuned vocal samples and unexpected glitches; the tune was mid-’90s ear candy. All these years later, it endures, not only as a sample on the Rihanna track, but also as one of the more memorable dance sequences from “Magic Mike.”
“Before that came out, it was just one of those shifts in music that happen when Timbaland came out with that sound. It gave R&B that jolt it needed. It was just a shift in music… that was just one of those songs that represented that in music. Now, it’s been able to withstand the test of time that when you hear it, it takes you back to where you were when you first heard it,” Ginuwine said of the track’s 2012 resurgence.
“You got to embrace it! You can’t be a stickler… especially when an artist like Rihanna wants to use it,” he added. “You have to allow her to revamp it and do her thing.”
With Rihanna a week away from her album release, it seems now would be as good a time as any for her to take the stage with the singer — an idea he’s more than willing to execute.
“That would be amazing! Like I said, I’m a big fan of hers and she’s definitely a beautiful young lady and I’ve always watched her and watched her do her thing. So hopefully, one day, it will happen and if it don’t that’s cool too,” he said. “I’m hoping it does well for her and just to continue the legacy of ‘Pony.’ It’s one of those songs that people are starting to take another notice to. It’s one of those songs that changed music anyways, so shout out to Timbaland and myself and hopefully people will continue to use it, ’cause it’s definitely one of those songs that will get the party jumping.”
Do you think Rihanna can put the proper “flip” on “Pony”? Give us your thoughts in the comments!