Pop Culture dictionary

Jenny from the Block

[jen-nee fruh m th uh blok]

What does Jenny from the Block mean?

Jenny from the Block is a hit 2002 pop song by superstar singer and actress Jennifer Lopez. The song is about how she will never forget her roots despite her international fame and wealth.

Where does Jenny from the Block come from?

Jenny from the Block
Entertainment Tonight

Jenny from the Block was a commercial success for Jennifer Lopez upon its release in 2002. As the first single off of her third studio album, This Is Me… Then, it went on to reach the number-three spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US and charted in the top ten internationally.

The song’s hook goes: “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!).” Lopez, as we see here, styles herself as Jenny from the block (Jennifer, just another neighborhood girl).

The track is filled with samples from The Beatnuts’ “Watch Out Now,” Boogie Down Productions’ “South Bronx,” and 20th Century Steel Band’s “Heaven and Hell is on Earth.” Critics mocked the track for such heavy sampling as well as its obvious lyrics, but that didn’t slow down its rise to the top.

Lopez’s Jenny from the Block music video features dynamic dance steps, a bronze-hued aesthetic, and her then-boyfriend, Ben Affleck. In the video, we see Lopez and Affleck in a series of overtly sexualized scenes from the viewpoint of the paparazzi. Affleck, an actor and producer, would later go on to say that the music video nearly destroyed his career.

Jenny from the Block caused some controversy amongst the residents of her Bronx neighborhood. As popularity for the song grew and references to the hit became more common, residents criticized Lopez as a sellout, boasting Bronx heritage without giving back to the community or maintaining a meaningful relationship to it after her stardom.

Examples of Jenny from the Block

Don't be fooled by the rocks that i got, I'm still, I'm still Jenny from the Block. <3 that.
@thomasmcilroy, December, 2009
You can call her JLo, Jenny from the block or Jennifer Lopez, but we’re calling her today’s #WCW.
@lanebryant, April, 2018
I just want to know, Lady Lo, why weren’t you there on my block that day where you could have mingled with aspiring Jennys from the block and gotten a refresher course in the Bronx we both grew up in?
Ed Morales, Ed Morales, October, 2011

Who uses Jenny from the Block?

The success of Jenny from the Block has led the popular media to use it as a nickname for Jennifer Lopez. The title is otherwise primarily used in reference to the song and video.

Someone acting or dancing like Lopez in the video may occasionally be called a Jenny from the Block, as may some young, music-inclined, or fame-aspiring women living in the Bronx.

Fans of the song or Jennifer Lopez, especially those also named Jennifer or from the Bronx, commonly use Jenny from the Block as a username on social media.


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