Jennifer Lopez claims, despite her millions, that she’s a regular person like everyone else in the smug “Jenny From the Block.”
The Beatnuts’ “Off the Block” sample starts the single. The Beatnuts say the in the neighborhood, the children become adults, the women take care of the home and have babies. Meanwhile, the men work at their jobs, whether it be legit or illegal. They say everyone needs some type of job to make it.
“Children grow and women producing/Men go working/Some go stealing/Everyone’s got to make a living.”
As the flute sample plays in the background, the LOX boast that they went from rags to riches. Everyone in their old neighborhood is jealous of them now. However, they remember they didn’t have it so good once. Their music on the radio and they private jets. They say their images aren’t manufactured. Then, the KRS-One sample “South Bronx” sneaks in.
“L O X/J. Lo/We off the block this year/Went from a little 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 your ear/Yea, we’re at the airport out decline from the block/Where everybody air-forced-out/With a new white tee, you fresh/Nothin’ phony with us, make the money, get the mansion, bring the homies with us.”
In the first verse, Lopez says she began as a Fly Girl on the sketch comedy television show, In Living Color and then began doing movies. After a couple of box office bombs, she finally hit with “Selena.” She then recorded two successful albums, On the 6 and J-Lo. Hollywood noticed her and soon she was featured in all the gossip mags. She says that as she made more money, she did not let her fame go to her head. She reiterates again that she’s genuine. She says she’s herself on talk shows. She’s tells people to stop being mean to her and she is who she says she is.
“From In Living Color and 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.”
In the chorus, she tells her fans not to see her as a greedy famewhore. She’s actually sweet, kind Jenny Lopez from the old neighborhood. She says she didn’t have much growing and now she’s rich. Even if she’s in Hollywood, she remembers her roots.
“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 (from the 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 (from the 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 (from the 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 (from the Bronx!)”
In the second verse, she says she’s laid-back and is not a diva. She’s simply trying to climb her way to the top. She’s matured and has learned a lot within the past couple years. She’s her own woman and independent. She hears rumors that she’s had to have a stiff while making an appearance at the Top of the Pops and shrugs them off. She’s loves her lavish lifestyle and her adoring fans. She thanks God for making her famous. Then, of course, she remembers she has to herself. It’s natural for her.
“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/Then can’t forget to stay real/To me it’s like breathing.”
After the chorus, the LOX rap in the bridge. The KRS-One sample is used. They say they work hard to get to where they are now. Their jewelry is an investment, not something to show off. Positive karma has made them stars. They saw even the people living in the ghetto can make it. They add people know who their true friends are.
“It take hard work to cash checks/So don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got, now 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 blink 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.”
The chorus is sung four times to close the single.
Lopez’s damage control on her image fails with each unoriginal, fabricated note. Her life of excess has been well-photographed. Her rider on the Smoking Gun has been discussed at length. On her appearance on Oprah, she spoke about being private with her marriage to Cris Judd (which turned out to be false.) Her constant insistence to remind everyone that she’s real proves she’s not.
The music itself is not even real. It’s been created already by by KRS-One and the Beatnuts.
“Jenny From the Block” is proudly disingenuous and insulting.. It assumes people take her single as the gospel truth, dismissing each story they’ve read about her.