Gaining recognition after Nas famously co-signed and encouraged him, along with Scarface's timely advice, Jon Connor has had a lot to prove these days to live up to expectations.  The up and coming artist from Flint, Michigan, just dropped his latest mixtape, 'The People’s Rapper LP' on April 13th under All Varsity Music, (produced by DJ Don Cannon) proving he can certainly deliver.

25 year-old Connor started making a name for himself a few years ago, with albums 'The Calling' part 1 and 2 in 2005 and 2008, and with two mixtapes 'Everybody Hates Connor' and Jon Connor as 'Vinnie Chase: Season One'.

In 'People’s Rapper', Connor pays tribute to hip hop icon Eminem, with a mixtape composed entirely on Em’s famous beats; from 'Stan' to 'Lose Yourself', he gives coherence and purpose to the project, which will probably please Em’s fans. Not only does he show his admiration for a legend, this release serves the dual purpose of establishing Connor’s identity and skills.

The new release’s title seems appropriate, as Connor has always been vocal on his hometown of Flint and its people, as well as on keeping Hip Hop music real. “The people’s rapper that’s all I could ever be” he rhymes on a '8 Mile' sample, and his honesty shines through all the tracks.  Showing love to Flint, especially with verses on Flint’s deceased rapper MC Breed, Connor draws the portrait of a man with a dream, very humble and down to earth. On 'Beautiful' Connor spits, “I know that life does have a purpose, it’s about more than what I purchase, we all workin, ain’t nobody perfect, at the end of the day I’m just a person”.

Some might complain about the use of Slim Shady’s beats, and see it as a distraction from Connor’s flow and draw an inevitable comparison, but'People’s Rapper' is actually an ambitious project and a clever way to keep Hip Hop moving forward while staying true to its roots - and one has to admit Connor killed these beats.

He deserves the title 'lyricist' for songs like 'Stan', 'Soldier', 'Hello'; a title that some reviewers have given him, though he says he doesn’t like to be categorized and shows resentment for being labelled.

Overall, the mixtape is very coherent from beginning to end, and even though common themes are covered, it still comes across as being fresh and passionate. The tape exhibits the lyrics expressing Connor’s ambition and drive, his love for hip hop legends and his desire to not become a puppet of the industry; pushing a hip hop revival: “you’re gonna swallow my style, its good rap I know you haven’t heard in a while you needed that real shit” in 'Til I Collapse'. He’s passionate about hip hop music and stands up against people who “make disposal rap as disposal songs”.

His flow is crazy on the bonus 'Fastlane', 'Til I collapse', 'Soldier' and many more, as he shows his skills on the mic with fellow artists from All Varsity Music fellow, such as Lyric Da Queen.

Right now it seems like Connor is getting recognition and making a name for himself. He's paying homage to artists he respects such as Jay-Z and Eminem, all the while proving he’s a gifted lyricist and a true hip hop artist. Next, he will have to show the same skills in his own musical universe and over his own beats.

Download the mixtape here.