New York Series: Jennifer Lopez ‘Jenny From The Block’

Don't be fooled by the rocks that I got I'm still, I'm still Jenny from the block

The early 2000’s was an interesting time for popular music. The era of pop boy bands and girl groups was beginning to end and plenty of artists washed their hands of the scene and cashed out, leaving a gap for solo artists and emerging pop singers. Jennifer Lopez (J. Lo) is one artist who took advantage of the changing landscape and released a plethora of hits in a short time in the early 2000’s. If you weren’t living in a cave in 2002, the chances are at some point you had J. Lo’s infamous hit ‘Jenny From The Block’ stuck in your head. In the incredibly catchy pop tune, J. Lo explains to the public that although she may be rich and famous, she is still the same tough girl from the Bronx she always was.

Before she was a famous TV actress on “In Living Color” or an international pop star, Jennifer Lopez lived a (more) simple life in a small apartment in the Puerto Rican Bronx neighborhood of Castle Hill with her parents and sisters. The low income neighborhood was dangerous at times and you often had to keep your guard up, which influenced Lopez to develop a skill set of “street smarts,” something she’s carried with her throughout her entire career.

Lopez wrote the 2002 hit ‘Jenny from the Block’ to inform the public that she was not just another pop star, but rather a relatable person who worked hard to get to where she was. She discusses her roots, how she is still truly just a neighborhood girl at heart, and focuses on the fact that she is a real person and not just some out of touch pop star. She feels attacked for her fame and fortune (“Nothin’ phony, don’t hate on me”), and as if people don’t respect her because she was able to get out of the vicious cycle of living in the low-income neighborhood she grew up in for the rest of her life.

Although Lopez may have nice rings (‘the rocks that I got’) and a large mansion, she still relates to people who live in the Bronx area in which she grew up. She feels it is important to constantly remind the listener of where she is from and uses the song to honor her origins. Many artists get big and never return to their hometown, or deny they are even from it in some cases, so by going the opposite route J. Lo separates herself from other pop stars and attempts to be more relatable. It gives young listeners hope that, although they may be from a bad area and the future looks bleak, there is a way to break out and follow your dreams.

Although the Bronx neighborhood of Castle Hill got some good free press from the pop star, the area is still similar to the way J. Lo left it. There is a significant income gap from block to block, which sometimes causes tension among the residents and can create an unsafe environment. Although Lopez uses her music as a platform to discuss her roots, many residents of Castle Hill feel as though they are being exploited by her and that she does not do anything for the area other than sing about it. While she may not be doing as much as residents would like, there is no denying her story brings hope for anyone who wants to get out and follow their dreams just as J. Lo did.

‘Jenny From The Block’ Lyrics 

Children grow and women producing
Men go working
Some go stealing
Everyone’s got to make a living

L O X
J. Lo
We off the block this year
Went from a low to a lot this year
Everybody mad at the rocks that I wear
I know where I’m goin’ and I know where I’m from
You hear LOX in the air
Yea, we’re at the airport out DBlock
Where everybody air-forced-out
With a new white T.U. fresh
Nothin’ phony with us, make the money, get the mansion, bring the homies with us

Don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got
I’m still, I’m still Jenny from the block
Used to have a little, now I have a lot
No matter where I go, I know where I came from (South-Side Bronx!)
Don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got
I’m still, I’m still Jenny from the block
Used to have a little, now I have a lot
No matter where I go, I know where I came from (South-Side Bronx!)

From In Living Color to movie scripts
To On the 6 to J. Lo to this headline clips
I stayed grounded as the amounts roll in
I’m real, I thought I told you
I’m real, even on Oprah
That’s just me
Nothin phony, don’t hate on me
What you get is what you see

Don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got
I’m still, I’m still Jenny from the block
Used to have a little, now I have a lot
No matter where I go, I know where I came from (South-Side Bronx!)
Don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got
I’m still, I’m still Jenny from the block
Used to have a little, now I have a lot
No matter where I go, I know where I came from (South-Side Bronx!)

I’m down to earth like this
Rockin this business
I’ve grown up so much
I’m in control and loving it
Rumors got me laughing, kid
Love my life and my public
Put God first
And can’t forget to stay real
To me it’s like breathing

Don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got
I’m still, I’m still Jenny from the block
Used to have a little, now I have a lot
No matter where I go, I know where I came from (South-Side Bronx!)
Don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got
I’m still, I’m still Jenny from the block
Used to have a little, now I have a lot
No matter where I go, I know where I came from (South-Side Bronx!)

It take hard work to cash checks
So don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got they assets
You get back what you put out
Even if you take the good route
Can’t count the hood out
After a while, you know who to blend with
Just keep it real with the ones came in with
Best thing to do is stay low, LOX and J.Lo
Act like they don’t, but they know
They can’t get a penny from the block ,
At the end of the day she’s still Jenny from the block.

Don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got
I’m still, I’m still Jenny from the block
Used to have a little, now I have a lot
No matter where I go, I know where I came from (South-Side Bronx!)
Don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got
I’m still, I’m still Jenny from the block
Used to have a little, now I have a lot
No matter where I go, I know where I came from (South-Side Bronx!)
Don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got
I’m still, I’m still Jenny from the block
Used to have a little, now I have a lot
No matter where I go, I know where I came from (South-Side Bronx!)
Don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got
I’m still, I’m still Jenny from the block
Used to have a little, now I have a lot
No matter where I go, I know where I came from (South-Side Bronx!)