There are some instrumentals that have been blessed by legnedary emcees and it’s considered taboo if anyone decides to hop on it. The Blueprint Trilogy was one of the untouchables, until Michigan’s Jon Connor decided to pay homage to Jay-Z by rhyming over a slew of Blueprint tracks on his new mixtape, The Blue Album. The kid is tremendously talented and Jay-Z would definitely give daps that the Flint native merked some of the best instrumentals ever created. Even though dude can spit, he still falls short of the original on many occasions, but still the kid has cojones to even attempt.
Naturally, Jon Connor gets things underway with “The Ruler’s Back” and even though he doesn’t come close to the original cadence Jay-Z possessed, there is no denying his lyrical prowess. He lets the people know that there isn’t anything sweet about Flint and that he is the prodigal son of Hip-Hop. There have only been a few rappers that have chosen to rap over “Takeover” and it might have sounded hot, but once you listen to the original, you realize nothing comes close. Jon Connor definitely deserves props for the best attempt as he really goes in with some tenacity and insane lyricism.
Jon Connor chooses to spit over something a little more recent on “Run This Town” and it was quite disappointing according to JC’s standards. Lia Mack rides the hook and it would have been nice to hear her sing something from the heart rather than carol Rihanna’s lyrics verbatim. Both JC and Brandon Bars rhyme profusely, but fail to excite. Just Blaze is one of the best producers and his best instrumental, hands down, is “U Don’t Know” and Connor definitely comes correct on this one. The flow, lyrics and the tone all allude to Connor’s potential for greatness. “The flow will choke n***as out like when Mankind bring that sock out,” anytime a rapper can incorporate wrestler Mankind in a rhyme without sounding corny then you know they’re something special.
Obviously he had to touch “Song Cry” and just like Jigga he rhymes about a past love. He cleverly opts to spit the original hook and for good reason, because when there is hook that good, why change it? He shows fellow Michigan emcee love when he goes in on “Renegade.” Nas and even Eminem would agree that Jay-Z was a disappointment and both Jon Conor and Mickey Wallace murder Hov on his own ‘ish.
It’s always good to see a true lyricist puts his own spin on some classic instrumentals. Most people that choose spit over a Jay-Z joint would fail miserably and make you forever boycott their material, but then again Jon Connor isn’t everyone, he is the underground savior and he’ll show the masses soon enough.
3.5 Out of 5
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