Jon Connor - Salvation

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Even on songs that aren't as consistent as its highlights, Salvation undeniably showcases a sincerity & hunger that are tough to find in much of Hip Hop today.

In the intro to his official debut album Salvation, Jon Connor spits, “Don't write it off as just rhyming and music/I'm trying to inspire minds.” Good thing, because throughout much of 2011, he has definitely conveyed his ability to flat out spit—the Flint, Mich. native has heated blogs and radio shows with dozens of freestyles, collaborations with the likes of XV and Saigon, and even a video cosign from Nas. Despite a come-up that harkens the good ole days in NYC's battle and cipher circuits, some music fans have wondered about his ability to inspire minds like he asserted in the intro, through substantial songwriting. With Salvation, Jon Connor shows that he's definitely on the right track.

Jon Connor is named after the messianic figure that will lead humans to defeat an army of robots, but much of Salvation sees him acting more like Arnold Schwarzenegger's character—obliterating beats with an arsenal of a vicious flow, witty lines, and hungry charisma. Songs like the “F.L.I. 69” and “Big City Dreams” showcase Connor in his most comfortable element: handling his business by dismantling competition with blistering bars. “Someday,” one of the album's highlights, contextualizes his confidence by showing how it has enabled his ascension to success.

Connor does show narrative and conceptual capabilities, but aside from a couple exceptions, the topical matter doesn't stand out enough to leave a stamp. He still makes enjoyable songs, though. “Broken Mirror” uses emotive storytelling to speak against the power of judgment and misconception. Songs such as “Mind Games” and “Hustle Music” also succeed with their respectively kick off bandwagon jumpers and motivate the disenfranchised. Elsewhere, Connor's nuggets of knowledge are still substantial, but they're so snugly lodged between punchlines and boasts that they're tough to digest for all they're worth. “We All In” and “Minutes & Seconds” exemplify this, as Connor tosses candid details about his violent hometown down hallways of enjoyable, but unfocused bars and stereotypical accounts of friends-turned-leeches. The production on Salvation is also one of its lower points—while most of the beats ably back Connor's vocals, not many of them stand out. Fortunately, the flaws are small enough to not hurt the album's 13-song album length.

Even on songs that aren't as consistent as its highlights, Salvation undeniably showcases a sincerity and hunger that are tough to find in much of Hip Hop today. If Jon Connor continues to build on the skill set he already has, living up to his fictional namesake shouldn't be so far off.


  • Jon Connor - Unconscious State (2nd Studio Album) (Duck Down Music Inc.)

    1. Intro 2. When Darkness Falls (Produced by The Alchemist) 3. Gotta Get 'Em feat. Royce da 5'9" (Produced by Mr. Porter) 4. Take My Pain (Produced by Mr. Porter) 5. Nightmares (Produced by Statik Selektah) 6. Better Days (Produced by Mr. Porter) 7. Bloody Money (Produced by Statik Selektah) 8. Judgement Day (Produced by Statik Selektah) 9. Two Clips feat. Pharoahe Monch (Produced by Marco Polo) 10. Sunshine (Produced by Mr. Porter) 11. Die Hard (Produced by Black Milk) 12. Mercy feat. Guilty Simpson (Produced by Apollo Brown) 13. Formidable Enemy (Produced by Mr. Porter) 14. City Lights feat. Phonte (Produced by 9th Wonder) 15. Big Beat Walkthrough feat. Action Bronson & Reks (Produced by Statik Selektah) 16. Unconscious State (Produced by Khrysis) Deluxe Edition 17. What I Do (Produced by Statik Selektah) 18. Thousand Words (Produced by !llmind) 19. Fear (Produced by Beatnick & K-Salaam) 20. Die Hard (Remix) feat. Sean Price, eLZhi & Royce da 5'9" (Produced by Black Milk)

  • Rob

    Killer lyrics from Flint, Michigan. Nuff said.

  • KevinFoleyVT

    I honestly thought the production was pretty good on this album and "The Peoples Rapper" Jon Connor def brought it for his debut album. I remember when i first heard him people were just bustin' on him because of his name but I really think he people are gonna have to take notice and respect his music. My fav tracks are 'Broken Mirror' and 'Salvation' where he just kills it..and the fact that its the first song lets you know that hes gonna bring it for the rest of the album.

  • sub city usa ,cali

    fuck you nigga im on them subs na'mean im high hoe

  • Rell

    I kinda like this. a little

  • trudy

    Breed's wife was right

  • Anonymous

    it's good, but nothing new...

  • anonymous5

    jon connor can do better than this, he has some really dope mixtape songs and freestyles but this is ok.

  • Anonymous

    Is it just me or is 'Aint no future' the song of the year? fuck me, he kills that!

  • negSee

    Ill album.I'll give him 5/5 cuz he's a sick spitta



  • SpaceKid

    this nigga is the future...Jon Conner 4real hahaha

  • derek

    jon connor's biggest problem is that its fuckig impossible to download his music when all the search results are about the terminator

  • Anonymous

    Drop a Vakill review, way better than this one.

  • rocky

    Damn. I was expecting way better from Jon. Rushed.

  • a.marsh

    Solid. We need more artists from flint. Them streets are full of talent n I ain't talkn about Dort hwy hoes. The city has more going on then just a bunch of pissed off killers.

  • Brian Ryner

    cant find the album anywhere -____-

  • Mobes

    For all the love you gave him in the review i would have expected at least a 4.. This is one of the best albums of the year, not one song has you reach for the next button, something that really cant be said for a lot of projects right now. "Connor's nuggets of knowledge are still substantial, but they're so snugly lodged between punchlines and boasts that they're tough to digest for all they're worth. " Just means you will get more the second and third time you listen to it. He is the most consistent right now and this album needs to get some more love cause Jon Connor is here to stay.

  • My dude J. Cesaer

    Yeah, because Lil Wayne makes his billions of dollars through conceptual projects... Are you kiding me? It is fine for rappers to have concepts and all, but when you straight kill every beat like he does, who gives a sh#t. Gucci, Flocka, and YMCM are all making money with their garbage non-sense albums, it is ridiculous that my dude Connor ain't a household name. BTW, listen to his, The Show Goes on freestyle if you want a story...

  • Salaam

    Fuck you HHDX. Did you give Big Sean a 4 for his "narrative and conceptual abilities"?

  • Onaje Jordan

    The beats are way better than cool kids and mellow hype. Jon sounds like some true and in depth hip hop. WTF is this reviewer talking about