Jennifer Lopez may be receiving this year’s MTV Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the 2018 Video Music Awards, but she’s still just “Jenny from the Block.” In a new Instagram post celebrating her achievements and reflecting on her career, Lopez shared a clip from the song’s music video featuring some steamy scenes with ex Ben Affleck. The nostalgia is so, so real.
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2️⃣ days till #vmas…this was the first video and single off my album “This Is Me…Then”. It was probably my most personal album ever…and honestly my favorite album I’ve done so far…I just loved the sound of it and the sentiments…At that time I truly realized that being an artist meant you have to be vulnerable and bare your heart and soul…it takes courage to do that…to really show who you are at any given moment in time…and this was me then… completely. And one of the things that was important for me to remind everyone of in that moment was who I am and who I will always be…don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got I’m still I’m still…JENNY FROM THE BLOCK. #nomatterwhereIgoIknowwhereIcamefrom #VMAs #videovanguard #thisismenow #humbledandgrateful
Lopez posted the video on Sunday, one day ahead of the Aug. 20 awards show, where she’ll perform as the Video Vanguard winner. The award, first established at the inaugural 1984 VMAs, celebrates performers whose music videos have kept listeners and viewers on their toes, affecting pop culture canon in such a way that their impact has reverberated throughout the art form.
In the caption of her Instagram post, Lopez reminded fans that “Jenny from the Block” was the first single off her 2002 record, This Is Me… Then. “It was probably my most personal album ever…” she wrote, “and honestly my favorite album I’ve done so far…I just loved the sound of it and the sentiments…At that time I truly realized that being an artist meant you have to be vulnerable and bare your heart and soul…it takes courage to do that…to really show who you are at any given moment in time…and this was me then… completely.”
She continued, “And one of the things that was important for me to remind everyone of in that moment was who I am and who I will always be…don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got I’m still I’m still…JENNY FROM THE BLOCK.” Lopez added the hashtags, #nomatterwhereIgoIknowwhereIcamefrom, #VMAs, #videovanguard, #thisismenow and #humbledandgrateful.
The personal nature of the album is definitely reflected in the intimate scenes shared between Lopez and Affleck in the “Jenny” music video. This Is Me… Then even features a track titled “Dear Ben,” which, according to the 2004 E! True Hollywood Story: Jennifer Lopez special, was titled “Perfect” until the day before the album was sent to production. Lopez met and started dating Affleck on the set of Gigli, and they got engaged shortly before her album release in November 2002.
In 2017, J.Lo opened up to Us about how it felt when Affleck called off their engagement in 2004. She said she was “eviscerated” by the bad press Gigli received, which wasn’t helped by their relationship falling apart. “I lost my sense of self, questioned if I belonged in this business, thought maybe I did suck at everything,” she said. “And my relationship [with Affleck] self-destructed in front of the entire world. It was a two-year thing for me until I picked myself up again.”
These days, Lopez is happily committed to Alex Rodriguez, whose support seems absolutely endless. She has a Las Vegas residency that ends in late September, and she’s about to receive one of the biggest awards of her career. Although fans in the comments of her Instagram post may miss how things were between her and Affleck 16 years ago, it’s clear that Lopez learned from that period of her life and has applied those lessons to her present and future. We’re so ready to see what she does next.