BlocBoy JB

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BlocBoy JB
Baker at the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards in Los Angeles, California
Baker at the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards in Los Angeles, California
Background information
Birth nameJames Lee Baker
Born (1996-05-19) May 19, 1996 (age 24)
Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Rapper
  • songwriter
Years active2012–present
LabelsInterscope
Associated acts
Websiteblocboy.com

James Lee Baker[2] (born May 19, 1996), better known as BlocBoy JB, is an American rapper.[3][4][5] He is best known for his song "Look Alive" featuring Drake, which peaked at number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 2018.[6][7] His other songs include "Shoot", "Rover" and "Rover 2.0" featuring 21 Savage.

Early life[edit]

James Baker was born on May 19, 1996, in Memphis, Tennessee. Baker's name comes from his father, who is currently serving a 25-year prison sentence for rape. In 2008, when Baker was 12, his father broke out of prison and traveled to Baker's home to see him for a short period of time.[8] At the age of 14, Baker became affiliated with the Grape Street Watts Crips. Although located in Los Angeles, the gang has an affiliated branch in Memphis called the Peda Roll Mafia. Baker's affiliation is mentioned throughout many of his songs, including "Rover".[9] Baker served a month in prison in 2012 for committing a home invasion, and served the rest of his sentence on house arrest. Baker has said the invasion was "sloppy", and that they performed the invasion with no masks and a BB gun.[10]

Baker began making music when he was fourteen when he moved to Raleigh in North Memphis and met Tay Keith (who later produced "Look Alive"), and the two began making music shortly afterwards.[11]

Career[edit]

2012–2016: Early music, fame, and controversy[edit]

Baker started putting out music on his SoundCloud page in 2012.[12] He released his first mixtape, Who Am I, in 2016. It featured the track "No Chorus Pt. 6", which reached more than three million views on YouTube.[5]

2017–2018: Shoot dance, Billboard top 10, and XXL[edit]

The next summer, he released the song "Shoot", which spawned a dance craze called the "shoot dance".[3][5][13] Another single, "Rover", followed in early 2018. The viral hits attracted the attention of Canadian rapper Drake[4][5][13] who it was speculated was going to remix "Rover"[14] though it resulted in the pair collaborating on a song titled, "Look Alive", which was released in February 2018 and debuted at number six on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.[7]

Following the release of "Look Alive", Baker spurred rumors he would soon sign to Drake's label OVO Sound, saying "Somewhat. I'm trying to see what's my move."[15] He was also featured on Moneybagg Yo's 2 Heartless project.[16] On March 23, 2018, Baker released "Rover 2.0", a remix of "Rover", featuring rapper 21 Savage.[17] The song was Baker's second lead song to chart on a Billboard chart, peaking at number two on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 singles. He was also featured on ASAP Rocky's "Bad Company"[18] and No Jumper's "Hard" with Tay-K.[19]

After releasing the single, "Prod by Bloc", he announced the mixtape Simi,[20] while also revealing the tracklist which featured Lil Pump, YG, Drake and 21 Savage.[21] Baker was named as one of the members of XXL's "2018 Freshman Class" on June 12, 2018.[22]

On October 30, 2018, Baker released his debut extended play, Don't Think That, which included features from Lil Uzi Vert and Hoodrich Pablo Juan.[23]

2019–present: Eighth mixtape[edit]

Baker released his eighth mixtape, I Am Me, on June 14, 2019, which included features from Lil Durk and Moneybagg Yo.[24]

In March 2020, Baker released his first official song of 2020, "Swervin". In May 2020, he released his highly anticipated single "No Chorus, Pt. 12", which was produced by longtime collaborator Tay Keith.[25]

Controversies[edit]

In October 2017, Baker filmed a dice game allegedly inside of Hamilton High School. Shortly afterwards, Shelby County Schools started investigating the incident.[26]

During an Instagram Live on March 16, 2020, Baker jumped from a two-story balcony into his pool, barely clearing the edge and clipping his heel on the side of the pool.[27]

In February 2019, Baker was arrested on drug, gun and robbery charges, weeks after a warrant was issued for his arrest.[28] Later on, in May of that year, Baker was arrested again on gun and drug charges. The arrest happened hours before he was scheduled to perform at the Beale Street Music Festival.[29]

In June 2020, 6ix9ine had an Instagram Live with DJ Akademiks. In the livestream, 6ix9ine targeted Baker, calling him a "one-hit wonder" and asked if he was working at Wendy's. Baker responded by saying, "Don't mention my name if you ain't on no gangsta shit".[30]

In November 2020, Baker received severe criticism and was accused of homophobia after he said PlayStation was "for the gays" and mocked the brand as "GayStation", even saying that Xbox is for "the street n*ggas".[31]

Baker is known for popularizing the "shoot" dance, which was incorporated in the Fortnite video game, made by Epic Games.[32][33][34] Following similar lawsuits against Epic Games, Baker filed his own lawsuit against Epic in January 2019, claiming the use of his dance move as a dance emote in-game is infringing on his copyright and personality rights.[35]

Personal life[edit]

Baker has publicly voiced his support for United States president Donald Trump.[36][37] He has been met with some criticism for this.[38] He has one child.[39][40]

Discography[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Awards Category Nominated work Result
2018 BET Hip Hop Awards[41] Best New Hip Hop Artist Nominated
Best Collabo, Duo or Group "Look Alive" (with Drake) Nominated
Best Mixtape Simi Won

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Your Cheat Sheet for Telling All the SoundCloud Rappers Apart". Vulture.
  2. ^ "BMI - Repertoire Search". repertoire.bmi.com.
  3. ^ a b Hussein, Wandera (February 15, 2018). "BlocBoy JB: Five Things to Know About the 'Look Alive' Memphis Rapper". Billboard. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  4. ^ a b Kameir, Rawiya (February 12, 2018). "BlocBoy JB is now in the running to become America's next top rapper". The Fader. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d Seabrook III, Robby (February 16, 2018). "The Break Presents: BlocBoy JB". XXL. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  6. ^ Trust, Gary (February 20, 2018). "Drake Tops Billboard Hot 100 With 'God's Plan' & Debuts in Top 10 as Featured on BlocBoy JB's 'Look Alive'". Billboard. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  7. ^ a b Trust, Gary (February 20, 2018). "Drake Tops Billboard Hot 100 With 'God's Plan' & Debuts in Top 10 as Featured on BlocBoy JB's 'Look Alive'". Billboard. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  8. ^ djvlad (May 9, 2018). "BlocBoy JB on His Dad Getting 25 Years, Breaking Out of Prison and Visiting Him (Part 1)". Retrieved May 9, 2018 – via YouTube.
  9. ^ "BlocBoy JB - Rover 2.0". Genius. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  10. ^ djvlad (May 11, 2018). "BlocBoy JB on Being Locked Up for Home Invasion with BB Gun. Baker had his first child in 2012 named Winter.2)". Retrieved May 11, 2018 – via YouTube.
  11. ^ "BlocBoy JB is now in the running to become America's next top rapper". The Fader. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  12. ^ Robertson, Darryl (February 12, 2018). "Five Things We Found Out About Memphis Rapper, BlocBoy JB". Vibe. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  13. ^ a b Pearce, Sheldon (February 9, 2018). "Tracks: BlocBoy JB - 'Look Alive' (ft. Drake)". Pitchfork. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  14. ^ "Drake Appears to be on the Remix of BlocBoy JB's "Rover"". Hypebeast. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  15. ^ "Drake May Have Signed Fast-Rising Memphis Rapper Blocboy JB To OVO". Uproxx. February 12, 2018. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  16. ^ "Moneybagg Yo's '2 Heartless' Project Features Quavo and More". XXL. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  17. ^ "BlocBoy JB – "Rover 2.0" (Feat. 21 Savage)". Stereogum. March 23, 2018. Retrieved May 2, 2018.
  18. ^ "A$AP Rocky & BlocBoy JB Take Aim at Their Haters on 'Bad Company': Listen". Billboard. Retrieved May 2, 2018.
  19. ^ "Tay-K and BlocBoy JB share "Hard"". The Fader. Retrieved May 2, 2018.
  20. ^ "BlocBoy JB announces Simi release date, shares cover art". The FADER. Retrieved May 2, 2018.
  21. ^ "Blocboy JB Taps Drake, 21 Savage, YG, Lil Pump & More For "SIMI" Tracklist". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved May 2, 2018.
  22. ^ "XXL 2018 Freshman Class Revealed". XXL. June 12, 2018. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  23. ^ "BlocBoy JB's "Don't Think That" Features Lil Uzi Vert & HoodRich Pablo Juan". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
  24. ^ "BlocBoy JB Drops "I Am Me" Mixtape". HipHopDX. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
  25. ^ "BlocBoy JB & Tay Keith Reunite On "No Chorus Pt. 12"". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved May 19, 2020.
  26. ^ "Rapper BlocBoy JB films dice game allegedly inside Hamilton High". WAFB. Retrieved August 15, 2018.
  27. ^ "BLOCBOY JB JUMPS OFF BALCONY INTO POOL ... Juuust Dodges Paralysis!!!". TMZ. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
  28. ^ "BlocBoy JB Arrested on Drug, Gun Charges". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 19, 2020.
  29. ^ "Memphis Rapper BlocBoy JB Arrested Again on Gun, Drug Charges". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 19, 2020.
  30. ^ "BlocBoy JB Claps Back At 6ix9ine's "One-Hit Wonder" Diss". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  31. ^ "BlocBoy JB Called Out for Saying PlayStation Is 'For the Gays'". Complex. Retrieved December 18, 2020.
  32. ^ "Where did BlocBoy JB's "shoot dance" come from?". Capital Xtra. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  33. ^ "BlocBoy JB's "Shoot" Dance Is Now on Fortnite". XXL. May 2, 2018. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  34. ^ "Blocboy JB Calls Out 'Fortnite' For Co-opting 'Shoot Dance'". Complex. September 10, 2018. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  35. ^ Alexander, Julia (January 23, 2019). "BlocBoy JB sues Epic Games over popular 'Shoot' dance emote". The Verge. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  36. ^ "BlocBoy JB Says He's Starting to Like President Trump". XXL. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
  37. ^ "BlocBoy JB Expresses Fondness For Trump". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
  38. ^ "This Rapper Is Getting Dragged On The Internet After Saying He's 'Starting To Like Trump'". BET. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
  39. ^ "BlocBoy JB is now in the running to become America's next top rapper". The FADER. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
  40. ^ "BlocBoy JB on Instagram: "Happy Birthday Son I Love You"". Instagram. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  41. ^ "Here Are All the Winners From the 2018 BET Hip Hop Awards". Billboard. October 16, 2018. Retrieved October 17, 2018.