Blocboy JB — “House Party”

Evan Nabavian takes a quick look at the rapper and shoot dancer's latest single.
By    April 23, 2019

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Why are rappers always scowling next to their Bugattis? Why finesse all that dog food through customs if you’re not going to enjoy the spoils? Why paint the windows of the Gucci store with your enemies’ blood if you’re not going to treat yourself to something from said Gucci store? Blocboy JB is the only one who gets it. He wakes up smiling, throws on a pair of light wash jeans with a matching jacket, and then jumps on the pool table with his shoes on.

You can’t properly appreciate Bloc until you’ve seen his videos. “House Party” is a kickdrum and a cowbell — it’s as sparse as a beat gets without a lunchroom table. He fills the beat’s negative space and the frame of the YouTube player like few rappers can. He swivels and bounces at his knees, elbows, shoulders, and neck to add theatricality to getting dressed or walking down a hall. He moves with authority, but not stiffness. He’s like Bobby Brown without a choreographer or Jackie Chan without a script. His screen presence is such that you barely notice the brandished pistols or the guy dancing past the camera in a sun hat. Bloc treats the camera like a sparring partner.

On “House Party,” he makes the Kid ‘N Play connection that we would have made sooner if fare like “Shoot” and “No Chorus Pt. 10” weren’t so grim. It’s hard to picture Bloc challenging Sydney and Sharane to a dance-off because stone cold Tay Keith beats don’t evoke the primary colors of 1990 and Bloc’s animated performance belies a lot of bloodletting. But the video really feels like something a dude and his friends made for fun on a Saturday morning. They can’t seem to muster a reason to stop having fun.

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