Flint, Michigan, is certainly not one of the first places that comes to mind when Hip-Hop is mentioned. Until recently, aside from the success of the late MC Breed, the seventh largest city in Michigan had made few contributions to the art form that was born at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue. But then came rapper Jon Connor. He was introduced to the Hip-Hop scene in 2005 and after a few releases, Connor established himself as a force to reckoned with. Now with a new website and his upcoming Unconscious State album, he is set to grow his already large fan base and prove that the co-signs he has received from rap’s elite (Busta Rhymes, Nas, just to name a few) were well worth it.
AllHipHop.com: Congratulations on the launch of your new website, www.jonconnormusic.com. I know you’ve always been very interactive with fans via social media. How do you see your website contributing to your already strong Internet presence?
Jon Connor: It’s just one location that can take you to anywhere Jon Connor. It’s one home base for everybody to go to and find my Instagram, my Twitter, whatever the case may be. I know before when I had a website, [there] was a feature on there where you could have fans ask you questions and then I could respond to them, so even with that, I think I’m going to add that to the site because I love talking to the people, getting their feedback, hearing their stories, and all that type of stuff. It (the website) just makes me more easily accessible if I wasn’t already easily accessible through my Twitter. I think the website just brings them (the fans) a little closer to me and brings them to where they don’t have to go a million different places. Now it’s just one location and they can go from there.
AllHipHop.com: How did the preparation of your upcoming album, Unconscious State, differ from your earlier work and what do fans have to look forward to on it?
Jon Connor: It was the most different process I ever had to go through because [there] was a lot going on, like a whole lot. I was on that Big Krit tour working on this album, and then I was on tour with Xzibit working on this album. And then, in my family, my grandfather had a stroke. And I’m a person who doesn’t believe in excuses, it’s kinda harsh. In show business, they say, “the show goes on” and that’s really true. Because no matter what’s going on in your personal life, people still expect you to get on that stage and smile and rock out. When I did The People’s Rapper, The Blue Album, and While You Were Sleeping back to back to back, it was like cloud nine, no worries. Hakuna matata. Everything was f***in’ dope. But then this was one it was so different because it was a lot of dark stuff. And then also now, I think I’m at a different point in my career to where I have to start learning how to balance doing interviews and doing videos and being on tour and still make an album. This was like my first time really having to balance that and still manage to stay creative.
What should y’all expect? That’s funny. I smile because Unconscious State, for those reasons that I just gave, as far as balancing time and personal stuff going on with my family and stuff, it was like my red-headed step-child, but it ended up being my favorite child to date. Because when I listen to it now, it gives me inspiration and motivation and that’s what I’ve always prided myself on doing in my music. But, because at times in this album I had to make inspirational music from a dark place, it’s kind of like I was talking to myself or trying to encourage myself to keep going. I was actually in a place where I needed the words I was saying just as much as my fans.
AllHipHop.com: What’s the status of you and a major label deal?
Jon Connor: I have to tip-toe around how to answer that one. Just watch the developments, I’ll put it like that because I’ve got a lot of independently released projects that are going to come out on iTunes starting with Unconscious State. Then I got me and Mr. Porter (formerly of D12), we’ve got an EP coming out. Me and Ski Beats, my dog, we got a project coming out. And me and Chris Webby got a project coming out. And after that, as far as like being a solo artist, I’ll just say I’m headed in that direction for going to a major. It’s all depending on which situation makes the most sense and where I’m most comfortable at. But I’m definitely looking forward to signing to a major.