I’m still Rebecca from the Block

16 Mar

No. 1 in a possible series of “Overheard on a Bronx-bound subway train”:

“Headin’ back to da block, man?”

Snippets like that make you realise that you’re really not in London any more.

On the subject of people ‘from the block’, apparently our dear Jennifer “I’m still Jenny from the Block” Lopez’s real-life ‘block’ somewhere in the Bronx is not rough at all. It seems she somewhat fabricated that inner-city deprived image of her home neighbourhood to score some ‘cool’ street-cred points with that vile – but annoyingly very catchy – song of hers. In reality, it seems, her neighbourhood is supposedly quite salubrious.

(For those fortunate few among us who don’t know the song in question, it’s basically our J-Lo saying she may now be stinking rich, living in the lap of luxury, but is still the same good old gal  – just to reassure us all that her mountains of wealth, diamond-encrusted sunglasses and pedigree poodles with mink fur coats haven’t gone to her head. Or as she puts it so prettily and pithily in her song: “Used to have a little, now I got a lot, I’m still Jenny from the Block.” Phew, we’re so relieved and reassured and happy for you, our Jenny.)

And while we’re on the subject of reassuring all you anxious souls in the face of the relentless cycle of change and transformation, I just wanted to emphasise that, just like J-Lo, I too am still good old Rebecca from the Block (but in my case, “used to have a little, still got a little”). I may now be living in New World, I may once have sojourned in Paris and Tel Aviv, but I’ve never forgotten my humble London NW11 roots.

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4 Responses to “I’m still Rebecca from the Block”

  1. AM March 16, 2010 at 22:19 #

    I want to tell myself that maybe her neighborhood was much worse when she was growing up there. And there definitely are gangs in the area. But honestly, that area is, at least as of the 1990s, much nicer than a lot of other areas of the Bronx that are still struggling.

    Alas, there are plenty of celebs, particularly rap and hip hop artists, who have had to paint their back story in a much harsher light. Then there are the ones, like actress Charlize Theron who watched her mother kill her abusive father, that you just leave your mouth hanging open.

  2. alexei March 17, 2010 at 02:45 #

    You’re still just poor old Rebecca from the Hampstead Garden Snuburb…

  3. Gaelle May 8, 2010 at 13:13 #

    Humble comment: Does humble and NW11 go together?

    Where I come from girls were getting attacked and guys killed at school, hence my non-religious mum putting my sister and I in a convent school!
    Also, at my brother’s school, there were talks about an exchange with students from Chicago. When the Chicago staff were told the name of my then mafia-like hometown (c’était le tps de Gastounet, Reb), they diplomatically declined!!
    Apart from this, dear Rebecca, a kilometer each side between the Mediterranean and the mountains, my childhood was made ideal by my parents…

  4. rebeccainspace May 11, 2010 at 19:19 #

    good point Alexei and Gaelle re NW11 not being very ‘humble’ at all! I meant humble in the sense of a drab, boring, undramatic, where nothing exciting ever happens neighbourhood, rather than rough, deprived etc

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