You may be unfamiliar with Jon Connor, but the Flint, Michigan, MC has been on his rap grind for years, recording mixtapes inspired by greats like Jay Z and Eminem. Now, after the cypher master rolled back during Saturday’s BET Hip-Hop Awards pre-taping, he is now rumored to be signed with Dr. Dre, though neither he nor Dre has given any official word on the matter.
MTV News first introduced Connor last year on the heels of his The Blue Album mixtape. During the course of the 14-track project, the nimble wordsmith lays dense raps over a myriad of instrumentals taken from Hov’s trilogy of Blueprint albums.
“Maybe I’m biased, but I love The Blue Album,” he told MTV News in March 2012. “I did it in actually four days, wrote the whole Blue Album in four days because something just hit me… I have such a hunger for respect and I want to be the best in the world. I’m gonna be the best in the world, that’s the way I look at it.”
Shortly after he dropped The People’s Rapper, a mixtape that found Jon flowing over Eminem instrumentals like “Till I Collapse” and “Lose Yourself.” This past July, Connor released another tape, one with all original music. The 22-track Unconscious State hit iTunes and featured contributions from Danny Brown (“Vodka & Weed”), Talib Kweli (“Rise Up”) and Royce da 5’9″ (“Michigan $#!*”). These releases quickly made him one of hip-hop’s most celebrated lyricists.
Maybe that’s what attracted Dre, who was pictured with in the studio Connor this past summer. “He was excited about the respect he had for my artistry. Dre is a very particular person. He knows what he wants to hear,” Connor told MLive.com in August.