Jon Connor Gives a Voice to His City With “Fresh Water for Flint” Featuring Keke Palmer
The contamination of drinking water in Flint, Mich. has been grabbing major headlines as of late. Coined the #FlintWaterCrisis, residents and legislators are outraged with Flint's government officials for their blatant disregard in the public water consumption. In 2014, a decision was made to switch the natural water source from Lake Huron to the Flint River. This move lead to ongoing turmoil due to dangerously high levels of lead found in the water. Essentially, the city of Flint has been slowly endangering its own people.
In the midst of the Flint water crisis, plenty of hip-hop's most prominent stars have stepped up to help. Diddy and actor Mark Wahlberg have pledged to donate one million bottles of water to local residents, Big Sean and DJ Mustard matched each others $10,000 donation toward the cause and Meek Mill personally delivered fresh water to the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan.
But for one rapper, the crisis is more than just a headline and a community service opportunity. Former XXL Freshman and Flint native Jon Connor knows the reality of the situation beyond cutting a check. The Aftermath signee has been in Flint for the past week helping his family members, many of whom have had to be tested for lead poisoning. The rhymer has been donating his time to the city's local charities like the Boys and Girls Club.
Now, Connor drops a new track to give a voice to his city in their time of need. "Fresh Water for Flint," produced by the Fr3shmen and featuring actress and singer Keke Palmer, can be heard exclusively on XXL today (Jan. 28).
"The song is basically about the situation going on that nobody sees," Jon tells XXL over the phone from his mom's house in Flint. "I lived in Flint up until two, three years ago, so being in California and seeing the way it's being portrayed on the news, seeing the deterioration of my city, its all that frustration and emotion. I feel like I'm the voice of Flint, so I'm just trying to verbalize how all the natives feel."
Connor knew it was time to put his feelings on wax earlier this month when Michigan declared Flint to be in a state of emergency. The track took about a day to put together (Connor laid his verses down in an hour-and-a-half) and two more days of Dr. Dre finalizing the mix.
Though he didn't want to get into his personal feelings about Flint's politicians, who caused this chaos, Connor did provide details of what life has been like when brushing his teeth with bottles of water and rationing showers. "That's something no city in America, and really no city period should have to deal with," he states. "I'm here living it to see how ridiculous it is first hand."
Connor is also looking to the future and wants to put on a benefit concert for Flint with Aftermath and Interscope.
"I'm just trying to make all the dots connect of people I know in the industry who've reached out to me," Connor says. "Kelly Price has reached out. I was talking to Michael Moore and he said he was interested in doing a benefit concert so we'll see. I think we're just trying to figure out how we can put all of our resources together for this one cause and one goal."
Check out Connor's anthem for his city, "Fresh Water for Flint."
Listen to Jon Connor's "Fresh Water for Flint" Feat. Keke Palmer
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