BlocBoy JB is in the process of blowing up, but who is he?
In you're reading this, you've no doubt heard the name BlocBoy JB. As of today, the Memphis rapper has officially landed collaborations with Drake, A$AP Rocky, and 21 Savage. His Drake assisted "Look Alive" has already amassed eighty-eight million views. His first charting single debuted at number two on the Billboard charts, making him the fifth artist in history to earn such a milestone. Suffice it to say, BlocBoy has momentum on his side, and the future looks bright for the young artist.
Yet his rise to dominance has left a few people scratching their heads. After all, his rise seemed to to explode exponentially, seemingly overnight. To be fair, BlocBoy has been grinding for years, but it's not often that one goes from self-promoting mixtapes to sharing the mic with some of the game's biggest A-Listers. Is the Drake effect truly that profound? Either way, it seems like BlocBoy will be sticking around for the long haul; why not get familiar?
BlocBoy has been putting in work for a minute. A visit to his SoundCloud page reveals an extensive self-released discography, with the earliest songs spanning as far back as six years. Inaugural drop “Freestyle” is a far cry from the A-list polish of “Look Alive,” but the DIY aesthetic does possess a certain charm.
As of now, there are over seventy tracks available on BlocBoy’s Soundcloud page. It’s unclear whether or not his rising status will lead to a purge, so you might want to begin crate digging while you still can.
BlocBoy may be 21, but he’s well in tune with the legendary rappers of the early millennium. In an interview with XXL, BlocBoy spoke about some of his major influences. “Three 6 Mafia, Eminem, Jay-Z, Nelly,” explains BlocBoy. “Especially 'Over and Over,' the joint with him and Tim McGraw. That's my favorite joint."
He goes on to reiterate his love for Em and Tip during a chat with No Jumper. “Eminem and muthafuckin’ T.I, they were my boys back then,” says BlocBoy. “But then they stopped dropping.”
The Mixtape Grind
Prior to “Look Alive,” BlocBoy was steadily amassing a respectable following, largely in part to his pair of officially released 2017 mixtapes, The Purple M&M and Who Am I 3. While BlocBoy’s catalog is hardly limited to those drops, the pair have since been made available on all major streaming services. If you’re interesting in diving into BlocBoy’s back catalog, check out his complete list of mixtapes below.
- Who Am I (2016)
- Grape Juice (2016)
- Who Am I 2 (2016)
- Loco (2017)
- Who Am I 3 (2017)
- The Purple M&M (2017)
BlocBoy’s homie and collaborative partner Tay Keith has played an integral role in shaping the rapper’s sound. BlocBoy spoke about meeting Keith at the age of 14, as the producer lived around the corner. After falling in love with the makeshift studio setup, BlocBoy ultimately went on to forge a bond with Tay, stating “that's like my brother, we kicked shit in the same hood. When I moved out there, he was the first person I linked up with when it came to music.”
Since then, Tay Keith has been a fixture in BlocBoy’s music, producing the bulk of his biggest hits, including “Shoot,” “Rover” and “Look Alive.”
After dropping a video for “Shoot” back in July of 2017, BlocBoy’s infectious dance moves ultimately went on to start a viral challenge. As he tells it, BlocBoy came up with the moves in front of his mirror, telling The Fader “I was in the mirror looking at myself and I got to winding that motherfucker up and hitting that motherfucker, just like, “Oh, that shit hard!” Videos of people attempting to emulate BlocBoy’s iconic dance soon flooded the internet. Even Drake ended up getting in on the action.
While BlocBoy is well aware of his dancing prowess, don’t get it twisted. “Some people take me as a joke just because I dance. They think they can try me or whatever,” reveals BlocBoy, to XXL. “In my mind, I just be like, 'Go 'head.' I want them to know just because I dance don't mean I can't get with the shit."
Drake’s Favorite Rapper
You’re no doubt familiar with Drake collaboration “Look Alive,” which recently debuted at #2 on the Billboard charts. Yet how did a 21 year old Memphis rapper end up linking up with one of the world’s biggest artists? Evidently, Drake actually reached out to him. “He had posted the song [on Instagram], and as soon as he posted it, I had replied 100. And then he was like, "My favorite rapper! We gotta cook,” reflects BlocBoy, via The Fader.
“He knew my producer [Tay Keith] already so he was already talking to him and he got the beat from him, sent it to me early in the morning. I jumped straight up and went to the studio,” says BlocBoy. “Then about two or three days later, he was in the city and we shot the video. It still seem fake, like a dream. I could pinch myself and not feel it.”
He May Or May Not Be Signing To OVO
As of now, this one remains a rumor. Yet BlocBoy himself has claimed there’s some truth to it. We simply have to see how this one plays out.