Artist Overview - Jon Connor

"The Best In The World" returns home from LA, with the focus on All Varsity Music.


Flint Michigan native Jon Connor has returned home from a lengthy stay in LA, at Dr. Dre's Aftermath Records to focus on All Varsity Music, mentoring and releasing some new content.


For many it seemed as a meteoric rise to end up in the same Aftermath situation as so many others. But for Jon Connor, it seems to be a chess game, not checkers soaking up game from the legendary Record Company Aftermath and Producer Dr. Dre to come home and pour that knowledge into All Varsity Music Group. Generally I tell the stories from the start to present, but Jon Connor's a different type guy with a different type drive... so today, we start in the future and work our way to the middleschool songwriter.


ALL VARSITY MUSIC GROUP PHASED ROLL OUT


A phased roll out plan for both Jon Connor and the artists involved with All Varsity Music Group consisting of 9 projects. There has been no dates attached to any of the releases but one thing I've learned from passed projects is Jon Connor is consistent with content and multiple yearly releases.


Jon Connor Presents...

No Release Date, Phased AVM Release.


Jon Connor has always had a good selection of features and collaborations in the passed. This project will be a project that will showcase not only Connor's production but also has me curious who may just show up for this project. I hope to see the return of previous features such as Chris Webby, Lia Mack, Willie Da Kidd, Freddie Gibbs, Ace Gabbana, Royce Da 5'9 and also some fresh talent that we may not know of yet.



Stark Parker

No Release Date, Phased AVM Release


This project is a collaboration project between Jon Connor and Ace Gabbana that is styled after The Avengers relationship between Tony Stark and Peter Parker. If the project holds up to these characters, this is going to be project to be reckoned with.


24

No Release Date, Phase AVM Release


A collaboration project with the Legendary Producer KLC from Beats By The Pound. Known for his work with No Limit Records and The Medicine Men. I am looking forward to see how these two artists mesh and work together as well as the wonderful possibilities of interesting features.





W.A.R.

No Release Date, Phased AVM Release

The concept of this collaboration with Monteasy is an interesting one. The merging of the love of Hip Hop and that of wrestling. Not an avid fan of the WWE style wrestling I am still interested to see the project, the concepts and interesting lyrics that come from both Jon Connor and Monteasy.




Ace Gabbana - Moon Water LP

No Release Date, Phased AVM Release

Looking to jump into this full length project from Ace Gabbana. Gabbana has been getting more of a buzz from his most recent Youtube releases as well as previous album "Ratchet Rock N Roll." I am interested to see the evolution of this artist and the influence from AVM and Jon Connor. Make sure you take some time and check him out @allvarsitymusic .



Re- Release of Back Catalogue

No Release Date, Phased AVM Release

I am pretty excited for this, even though I have owned the entire collection for years now, it will be great to see these added to streaming platforms. But if you're like me and like to own copies, or want to hear it now you can get it at Jon Connor's Bandcamp . Details on each of these releases below.


The Road to Legendary - Docu-Series.

No Release Date, AVM Phased Release


The upcoming Docu-Series documents the Jon Connor journey from the writing, to battles to the booth at Aftermath all the way back to Flint Michigan. I am excited to jump into this series, as a fan of the process just as much as the final project. It would be great to see this picked up by any one of the streaming services.


S.O.S Vol. 2: The Road to Legendary

No Release Date, Phased AVM Release


A followup to the SOS release in 2020, Vol.2 continues that journey of all original content as we follow the growth and history of Jon Connor. SOS was a full length project with some great tracks and features and I look forward to seeing how the sequel to that continues the journey.



Best In The World - The N Tape

No Release Date, Phased AVM Release

I have loved this series right from the start in 2012 and have been itching for a new one. My mind often wanders to the possibilites of tapes (Ice Cube, LL Cool J, UGK, 2Pac, The D.O.C. etc) but I have been waiting on a Nas installment. With the Nas themed Homage albums done before with Elzhi's "Elmatic," and Fashawn's "Ode to Illmatic" I think there is still a lot of room for Connor to Shine. For one thing, Connor has been known to in the past to mix up his beat selection over the discography so we will have to see how much of the Nas Discography makes it into the Mixtape.


With that, this brings us up to the Current day and let me tell you, the story has just begun. 13 Previous projects and a long list of singles and features lets jump into 2021.




2021:

Much of 2021 has been focused on All Varsity Music Group, and from the visuals and roll out schedule it looks like its going to be a very interesting time for both Flint Michigan, All Varsity Music and Jon Connor.


Releases:


Late 2021 would bring us the release of the newest installment of The Best In The World Mixtape Delirium. I love how this Mixtape breaks out of the previous concepts used for the B.I.T.W. Mixtapes. Connor chooses current popular instrumentals and delivers with the heat and quality from the previous releases. Tracks consist of instrumentals from Cardi B, Nicki Minaj, Da Baby, Freddie Gibbs, Jay Z, J. Cole and others. This mixtape was released solely on Youtube though I hope eventually will be able for download.


Singles and Features:

2021 would host 5 singles and some features on both Kay Slay and E.A. Ski tracks. The singles would consist of "Angels&Demons" with Locksmith, "Loyalty is Royal" with 80Empire, "Second Nature" with Monteasy, "Da Cypher" with Little Vic and Lagato Shine and the most recent "Fiend (Bray Wyatt Tribute) which I can only assume is a taste of what we can expect from the upcoming W.A.R. project.





2020:

2020 would be the return of the Jon Connor we were all waiting for, with the first album release in years, a handful of singles and some features with Kay Slay, Chris Webby and Psalm One.


Releases:


SOS, Vol. 1

Released April, 2020

The first release from Jon Connor since his time at Aftermath delivers with 18 tracks and features including Ace Gabbana, AFRO, Dizzy Wright, Locksmith, Chris Webby, and many others. I enjoyed the album as a whole but some tracks that stood out to me would be; "The Cypher," "Vehicle City," "The Code," and "Work of Art." Its worth the check out and includes an interesting 13 minute outro "Thank You (Reprise)


Singles and Features:

2020 would bring us a series of singles with artwork that would support the SOS release; "The Candour" with SBF The Great, "Wild In The Streets" with Chris Webby, "Q Love," "Priceless," and "The Pain."




2019-2015


These are the years I label "The Aftermath Years, even though Jon Connor was officially signed to Aftermath in 2013. I refer to these years as the Aftermath Years because like so many artists before him, fell fairly silent and work consisted almost entirely of features. Save for a few singles such as "Lonely," "Sound of 84," and "Time Fly", Connor would only be heard on a variety of features with Kay Slay, DJ Paul. Chris Webby, Dizzy Wright and most notably his Aftermath features on Dr. Dre's Compton Soundtrack with "One Shot, One Kill" with Snoop Dogg and "Moment of Violence" with King Mez, JT on the Game's Documentary 2.5.




2014


2014 would be a busy year for Jon Connor with 2 releases in his Best In The World series, features with Kay Slay, Chris Webby, Rah Digga, Statik Selektah etc, and gracing the cover of the XXL Freshmen Cover. For me I had been listening to Connor for years by now, but it was great to see him finally start to get the exposure he deserved.


Releases:


B.I.T.W. - A Tribute to B.I.G.

2014,

12 track mixtape hosted by DJ Khaled. The mixtape starts with one of my favorite Biggie tracks "Runnin" and continues to feature many BIG classics such as "Kick In The Door," "Who Shot Ya," " Notorious Thugs," and "Skys The Limit."








B.I.T.W. - The Late Registraion of...


What would go down as possibly the longest title of an album ever, but very suiting for a Kanye Tribute Mixtape would be "B.I.T.W. The Late Registration of a College Dropout Who Had a Dark Twisted Fantasy of 808's and Heartbreaks." 20 tracks hosted by DJ Drama Connor flows nicely over Kanye production and includes many of the popular beats. Favorite tracks for me would be "We Dont Care," "Black Skin Heads," "Big Brother" and "Last Call."




2013

There were some big plans for 2013 that would change into some epic plans. Originally 2013 would look like the release of 2 studio releases as well as an Unsung Heroes LP collaboration with Chris Webby. We would never see the latter two but the year would bring about the album "Unconscious State", a tour with Xzibit and meeting and signing with Dr. Dre. Though I feel that we may have missed out on a great project, that over the years we have been blessed with a variety of Chris Webby and Jon Connor tracks.


Releases:


Unconscious State

For a debut studio album Jon Connor delivers start to finish with 22 tracks and a list of features that would include Freddie Gibbs, Royce 5'9, Talib Kweli, Smoke DZA, Danny Brown and many others. Favorite tracks for me were "When I Was Young," "F'N Right," "Unconscious State," "Rise Up" and "In My Sleep." Much of the production is done by Connor with some additions from D12 Denaun Porter. The album would include a variety of Michigan based artists including his little sister Jenna Noel.






2012

This would be what I would call the breakout year for Jon Connor. It was this year that Jon would go on to release my two favorite albums from him so far. He would release 3 albums this year on top of his numerous features.



While You Were Sleeping

In 2012 and probably a large part of 2013 I bumped this album pretty heavy. Was excited to see one of my favorite emcees on this album; Bun B as well as other features like Mistah Fab, GLC and Kid Ink. Favorite tracks for me are "While You Were Sleeping," " Lone Star," " I'm Heavy," "Rags To Riches" and my all time favorite "Dont Wanna Be."





B.I.T.W. - The Peoples Rapper LP

This album was on pretty heavy rotation as well. As a Michigan Native and emcee in general the bar was pretty high for this project, rapping on the 'white boy's' album. Connor delivers with his interesting twists, being different yet paying homage to the artist. It is hard for me to pick favorite tracks off of this album, but Stan is clearly one of them. In this track Connor positions himself as Stan writing letters to B.I.G. and Pac and MC Breed. Eminem's album was such a great album, and so influential at the time, I feel Connor does a great job in staying true to himself and delivering on a project that casts such a large shadow.



B.I.T.W. - The Blue Album

The first release of the Best In The World Mixtapes, with Jay Z's Blueprint albums being the focus. This project is probably my least favorite album of Jon Connor's but I think that may be because of my not being a huge Jay Z fan. Hosted by DJ Green Lantern and including tracks like "Song Cry," "Thank You," "The Takeover" and "Renegade" that features Mickey Wallace.







2011


It would be sometime this year between Salvation and The Blue Album that I would be introduced to Jon Connor. I cant pin point the exact origin of the discovery if it would be digging through Bandcamp and stumbling across it, catching a Kay Slay feature or the track that was done with !Mayday! that would feature Black Thought, DJ Khaled, Stevie Stone and Jay Rock, but regardless have been a fan ever since. It was this year that Connor would begin to gain momentum, though talks with Def Jam would fall through it would still be a great year for content.


Releases:


Salvation

The album opens with the title track and sets the bar which he carries through the album with tracks like "Someday," "Blue City Club" and a bonus track "Aint No Future" that pays homage to MC Breed. This album would get 130,000 downloads in the first 3 months from Bandcamp. It would be here that I would be introduced to other artists such as Lia Mack, Brandon Bars and Cass Swift.






This song would go on to be mentioned on the Peoples Rapper LP, and created a bit of controversy at the time.





2010



Jon Connor as Vinnie Chase, Season One

A lengthy 25 track Mixtape would include the regular line up of Link, Brandon Bars, Cass Swift, Lia Mack and would also include Termanology, and Flint Michigan's Bootleg of The Dayton Family. The mixtape include a variety of drops from The Game to Asher Roth to Drake. Favorite tracks for me would be "The Anthem," "The People," "The Message," and "Uptown."


2009


2009 was an important year for Jon, it would be the year that he would officially form the record label. The label would be formed with the help of Mateen Cleaves, Jason Richardson and Kendall Freeman.


2008


The Calling Pt. 2: The Second Coming

A 19 track follow up to the 2005 mixtape The Calling. This mixtape consists of 19 tracks and has the tracks "The Second Coming," "Beautiful City," "It's Gonna Come," and "Squadron." This would be the second album that I would get from Jon Connor and is a great example of his storytelling, lyrical ability and versatility as a musician.




2006


Everyone Hates Connor

This mixtape would include various industry beats that Connor delivers on such as "One Mic," "Dead Wrong," and "24 Questions." I enjoyed this album, and many of the tracks like "6 Minutes," "Fly City," and "Squad Music."






2005



The Calling Pt. 1

The first release from Jon Connor, an 18 track mixtape, where we are introduced to the 'People's Rapper." Favorite tracks for me is "Game is Filthy," "Heart of My City," " Jon Connor," and "The Hood Report."






Born in the same city that brought us MC Breed, The Dayton Family and Top Authority, Jon Connor has repped Flint Michigan to the fullest. By the time Jon was 16 he had created a record label, a home studio and had a few years of songwriting under his belt.










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