This is the archived SXSW 2012 schedule. Please see the current schedule here.

Jon Connor


Labeled as “The Peoples Rapper”, Jon Connor is third generation musical talent with the triple threat abilities of writing, producing, and performing. Jon Connor’s innovative style of music using unique beats, merged with raw emotions, and clever lyrics is a talent that cannot be silenced. His music conveys genuine purpose and individuality.

Born in Flint, MI, Jon came from a musical family, the son of Mahley and Jon Freeman Sr. His father was an accomplished musician turned Christian minister and served as one of his earliest musical influences. Music was the fourth member of the Freeman household, in addition to his mother and sister. Connor began producing and song crafting at the very young age of 10. With an entrepreneurial spirit, in middle school he began selling his own mix tapes out of his backpack and from the trunk of his mother’s car. With the support of his mother, at the age of 14 he founded his own independent record label Avie Records/ All Varsity Entertainment and began developing his skills. By 16, he had financed and created an in-house studio with the money earned through odd jobs in the neighborhood.

By 18, Connor had made a name for himself on the Michigan music scene performing on stage with pioneering artists such as KRS1, 2 Live Crew, Bone Crusher, and Jeremiah to name a few. Proving he wasn’t just another artist, Connor composed the music for the independent Basketball Documentary Film "Flint Star”, funded his first independent music video, and begin forming an elaborate ensemble of independent artists to create the Avie Squad. In 2005 he teamed up with the southern-based beat making team of E. Rude and Kevin "K.Wills" Williams to create the underground classic "The Calling Pt. 1 “The Prequel".. The Calling pt.1 served as Connor's official introduction to the world, as it gained him national notoriety (, Raptalk., XXL, King Magazine,, planeturban, Urbanology magazine etc.) and a loyal fan base. Producing over half of the material on his critically acclaimed debut album, Connor not only showed his ability as a gifted lyricist and songwriter, but also as a skilled producer. 

Connor's describes his style of production as "a mirror of human emotions". A blend of pure hip hop flow, unique beats, solid production, and realistic content. ”His sound is well rounded and influenced by the sounds of the great artists before him such as Prince, Carol King, Michael Jackson, and Kanye West.

Never one to limit himself, Connor not only strives to be a great talent but a great person. He also takes time to give back to his community through participating in community outreach, foundations, and charity concerts.

Now with the release of his latest mixtape "Jon Connor as Vinnie Chase", a collection of 25 tracks that keep you guessing from start to finish, Connor is ready to take the world by storm.

Our Awesome 2012 Sponsors