Among rap heavyweights such as Joe Budden, Freeway, Talib Kweli, Joell Ortiz and Statik Selektah, stands one of Hip-Hop’s budding stars Flint, Michigan’s Jon Connor. The Midwest wordsmith sports a short-sleeved black t-shirt that reads “RUN FNT” which, in design, dittos the “RUN DMC” style tees; he also rocks a scully during humid New York City summer night. JC gave a spur-of-the-moment interview with Planet Ill, where he discusses the state Michigan Hip-Hop, everything Flint, his Hip-Hop ambitions, label situation and more. Check-out another Planet Ill exclusive.
Planet Ill: For those that don’t know who is Jon Connor?
Jon Connor: I’m a young dude repping Flint, Michigan. Its 45 minutes from Detroit and it’s a real tiny city and that’s what I’m going to bring to the game and represent.
Planet Ill: What is it like growing up in Flint?
Jon Connor: Everyday in Flint is a struggle, but I’m not finna bring sob stories to the game, but I’m call a spade a spade. People of Flint don’t have opportunities like that. We had the automobile industry and that was most people’s motivation, but now that’s gone so a lot of people feel abandoned and they hungry, because they don’t have anything else to cling on to. Flint is like any other ghetto in American. There is crime and poverty, but I’m here to lighten up the city.
Planet Ill: Are you signed to a [record] label right now?
Jon Connor: Right now, people are hollering, but we doing our independent thing right now. Shout out to my brother and Jay Richardson, Blue City Club you know. So we working, they shopping me around. At the end of the day we trying to get the music on a huge platform, so everyone can listen and peep the music. We just waiting for the right one.
Planet Ill: A lot of people like Busta, Nas, Royce Da 5’9 and others cosigned you. How does that feel to get recognition from rappers of that caliber?
Jon Connor: It’s amazing, man. It’s one of the best feelings and that just pushes me a lot harder and it makes feel good that legendary artists are listening to my music.
Planet Ill: Who are some of your influences?
Jon Connor: It’s funny, because I’m also a producer, so I can go on forever naming cats, but as far as emcees there a lot of greats and I give credit when it’s do. I strive to be like a lot these artists and achieve the success they’ve achieved. As far as Jay, Nas, Em, Royce, Pac, Big, Big Pun, Big L. Shit, man, there are so many. The thing about all the legends is that not only were they all nice, but their craft was well-received by everybody, despite the region they were from. Their rhymes touched everyone and every group of people that’s why their names will always be etched in stone.
Planet Ill: With the emergence of Big Sean, Em and Royce are going hard, Willie Da Kid is buzzing, how do you feel about Michigan’s state in Hip-Hop right now?
Jon Connor: [Laughs] Its beautiful man. We winning. I know saying we wining is like a cliché, but I’m so proud of my state. It’s the best feeling, I can’t even explain it. Shout-out to Sean shout-out to Black Milk, Big-ups to Royce and I have to shout-out the pioneers, like MC Breed, shout-out to everyone repping our state.
Planet Ill: You’ve performed in New York City before. What is it like performing in the home of Hip-Hop?
JC-Yeah, I performed year a few times, actually. I did The Generation Next concert with Peter Rosenberg. I did a couple joints at S.O.Bs and every time I perform its beautiful, because the culture I fell in love with was born here, so it’s always a pleasure.
Planet Ill: You got wild love out here kid.
Jon Connor: Yo, I love New York City. One of my favorite cities man. I need to cop one of those “I Love New York” shirts. Yeah, man there nothing like a New York City crowd. When you get love out here, then it means you’re special.
Planet Ill: You have a great future ahead of you, where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Jon Connor: My main goal is to be involved in every aspect of Flint, whether it be financially, helping the youth or whatever. I’m going to do whatever it take to put Flint on the map and help the community at the same time. Everywhere I go I rep Flint and I make it known that Flint is part of me as much as I’m apart of Flint. I rep it on every track and I’m always going to do that. So by 10 years me and my team are going to have a positive light shining on our city.