Yesterday (October 15) Flint, Michigan rapper Jon Connor announced via his BET Hip Hop Awards cypher that he was the latest artist to sign to Dr. Dre's Aftermath Entertainment. According to the Midwest emcee, it was more than just his music that earned the famed producer’s respect.
While speaking with MTV News following yesterday’s announcement, Connor spoke on working with Dre in the studio and the chemistry the two artists shared while recording together.
“He told me one time," Connor said. "He was like, ‘The music was there.' He liked the music and he liked what I was doing. He respected what I was doing. It was just at that point, just going in the studio and seeing if we had chemistry and vibed out. You know, as people. You can be the greatest rapper in the world. You could be the greatest artist in the world, but if you a dick, you know what I’m saying, ain’t nobody gonna want to work with you. It don’t matter how good you are, but it was like that’s what sealed the deal…It was the chemistry musically and it was the chemistry as just two good people.”
Connor further elaborated on his chemistry with Dre as he touched on the enthusiasm they both share for music, specifically music with a message behind it.
“The thing that drives me and Dre is one and the same,” he said. “I’m not a dude that’s driven by the money. I’m driven by the craft. I’m driven by the message. I’m driven by what I can do to help people and how I can influence people. And that’s Dre. Dre is all about the culture, the influence. He’s not a dude that’s like ‘Yo, let me sign this artist because of what they can make for me financially.’ Because Dre ain’t trippin’ financially. We all know that.”
Although announcements made in regards to artists inking new deals with labels are typically spread via press release, Connor took it upon himself to make his Aftermath announcement during his BET Hip Hop Awards cypher as he rapped, “And y’all knew that I was ill, but now my doctor is Dre.”
According to Connor, his decision to include his new status as an Aftermath signee in his cypher was welcomed by Dre, who he says referred to the idea as “dope.”
“I was thinking, I’m like, ‘How can I end this? How can I make this a moment?’" Connor said. "This is my first time doing a cypher and I wanted to make it a moment. I’m like, ‘You know what? Let me just announce it at the BET Hip Hop Awards.’ And I ran it by Dre and he was like ‘Yo, that’s dope’…The big homie, he gave me the okay, so it was off to the races.”
Jon Connor, who garnered underground fame thanks to the release of numerous mixtapes including July’s Unconscious State, joins a number of artists who have signed with Dr. Dre and Aftermath Entertainment. Among those who have found success at the label are Eminem, 50 Cent, and Kendrick Lamar. Despite the success of the aforementioned artists, Aftermath has also seen its fair share of unsuccessful stints with artists formerly signed to the label.
“I can’t afford to wait,” said Ortiz during a 2008 interview with Miss Info. “I got a million people waiting on me to come out. I would have been cheating myself if I would have to sit there and wait [on Aftermath]. I have momentum now and I need to take advantage of it now. I need to be coming out with a new record ASAP.”
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