August 18, 2012 in Professional
I wrote about Flint hip hop artist Jon Connor a couple years back at the Flint Journal, and one of the reasons I wanted to write that story was his connections to basketball — Connor had done the music for Flint basketball documentary ‘Flint Star‘ and he was managed by former Michigan State and Flint Northern star Mateen Cleaves, who enlisted the help of several of his own basketball friends to help spread Connor’s music in pursuit of a label deal.
Eric Lacy of MLive recently transcribed an interview Connor did where he discussed some of his basketball connections:
Connor shared with listeners a story about how he ended up receiving a phone call from New York rap legend Nas after Connor’s friend Mateen Cleaves shared with Nas a CD of Connor’s music while on trip to celebrate Chris Webber’s wedding.
Ironically enough, Cleaves is a former Michigan State basketball star, and Chris Webber is a well-known former baller who was the centerpiece of Michigan’s famous “Fab Five” group that earned two consecutive trips to the national title game in the early 90s.
Both Cleaves, also from Flint, and Webber, a Detroit native, had brief NBA career stints with the Detroit Pistons.
“I guess (Cleaves and Nas) were by the pool or whatever, and Moe (Cleaves) slid my CD in and just let it play,” Connor said. “And Nas said, ‘Yo, who is that?,’ and Moe said, ‘That’s John Connor, that’s who I was trying to tell you about.’
“And then, I swear on everything, I’m chillin’ (back home in Flint) and out the blue Moe Cleaves calls and said ‘Yeah, lil’ bro, somebody wants to talk to you.’ And I’m like ‘Alright,’ and it was Nas.’”