Over the course of his relatively silent career, John Connor, a Flint, Mich., has made a name for himself using the work of others. The rapper, who has a reputation for using monolithic mainstream artists’ beats (Eminem, Jay-Z and Kanye West), has decided to try the extra-large shoes of Notorious B.I.G. in his DJ Khaled-hosted mixtape, BestInTheWorld: A Tribute To The Notorious B.I.G. Vol 1.
Jon Connor will be the next big thing in hip-hop. You heard it here first. The eloquence in his rhymes is something that is seldom seen in hip-hop, and his flow, which turns every song into an artistic ballad that tells a unique story of his life, endears listeners to him even more.
BestInTheWorld: A Tribute To The Notorious B.I.G. Vol 1 would be a bold move for any artist. It may help that Khaled, one of the biggest DJs in the game right now, is giving his endorsement. But even without this in mind, to even think of spitting bars over Biggie’s legendary hits is the closest thing you can get to blasphemy in hip-hop. Yet Jon Connor does it with style, grace and class.
This mixtape hold several functions for both Connor and the genre as a whole. The main focus of it (which deviates at times, but always finds balance in the end) is to give respect to one of the greatest MCs to grace hip-hop. Having influenced virtually every big name in the game today, Biggie Smalls has caused waves that will never be forgotten. Connor does a great job of continuing the tradition of shouting out one of his many idols in the best way he can: by going hard on every track that boasts a classic Biggie instrumental.
There is more beyond the surface of BestInTheWorld: A Tribute To The Notorious B.I.G. Vol 1, however. The connection that Connor makes between his lifelong struggles and the ones that Biggie originally discussed over the same beats creates a juxtaposition between old and new. This connection shows that the struggles of many urban hip-hop artists is a universal problem; the ones who emerge from these struggles are winners and always seek to better themselves and their loved ones.
Connor’s passionate, gritty, flawless bars and his musical eulogy to one of hip-hop’s greatest make BestInTheWorld: A Tribute To The Notorious B.I.G. Vol 1 a must-listen and show incredible promise for Jon Connor in the near future.