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City Hall Minutes: Jim Jonsin Productions

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('City Hall Minutes' will be City Hall's countdown series of songs, albums, etc. in a certain artist or producer's discography. At least, that's what the idea is now. It may change. For now, it's a countdown. This is the first entry in that series.)

In my "Road to Recovery" piece on Eminem, I mentioned a certain "criminally underrated" producer by the name of Jim Jonsin. After reading the final draft, that line clicked a bit more. He really is criminally underrated. Can that be changed? Hell, I'm a writer with minimal pull, might as well do my part to properly rate Jonsin, a guy who has quickly become one of my favorite producers.
Jonsin's influence has popped up in so many places -- this season on American Idol, signing B.o.B as the first act on his Rebel Rock label, etc. -- and has collected many accolades -- a Grammy, multiple No. 1 hits -- that you probably haven't even realized. By definition, he's underrated. Let's change that.

From an XXL Magazine interview in April of 2009:

XXL: Why do you think your music is bigger than your name?

Jonsin: I don't know. It's funny, I was just...the past few artists I worked with, even with Lloyd. I was with Lloyd a couple of weeks ago and one of his buddies and they asked me to tell them what songs I've done. When I named the songs they flipped out, like 'Wow, you did that? You did that?' And so I made a CD the other day off my lady's computer. I said, 'Let me just put something together just to reflect back on the records I've done.' And I'm talking about what I call my new run being this new stuff and then the old run and then the very old run when I was Jealous J back when I had bass music out [in the early '90s]. But now, I'd say from like 2003 until now, there was some really good songs on there. So to myself it's pretty impressive, but yeah I've moved on from that, from winning awards from stuff I did yesterday... I think my name is a lot smaller than the music I've done, and I just hired a publicist for the first time in my career really. I had a publicist in the past, I wasn't really interested in being this famous guy. I just wanted to make the music, but now I think having the notoriety, people know who I am and just inspiring other people, is important to my legacy and to everybody in my family."
Honorable Mention:
Beyoncé "Sweet Dreams" (2010)

Beyoncé has done much better, as has Jonsin. But the producer's ability to cross over genres and styles, proven with this song, warrants its inclusion. He's tremendously versatile. Gotta appreciate that in a producer.
J. Cole "Pass Me By" f/ B.o.B (2010)

A tight piano loop compliments Jonsin-drums (heavy and rock-esque), with a little love from B.o.B on the hook. J. Cole, in my relatively limited experience with his music, seems to thrive on heavy beats like this. He's extremely comfortable and tackles some pretty taboo stuff on this track, further fueling his hype machine. This record is complete: interesting lyrics, great beat, catchy hook. Very interested to see if this makes J. Cole's debut album; here's to hoping it does.

Soulja Boy "Kiss Me Thru The Phone" (2008)

Up front, let me just say that I don't like Soulja. I think he sucks. I think he helped start -- and has since been (shockingly) limited to -- "ringtone rap." His hand in the creation of that term/genre means I'll always hate him. (And on "Crank Dat:" If you have a brain, you shouldn't enjoy that song more than a five out of ten. If it wasn't for that dance to go along with it, the song would be even worse. Gag.)
As for "Kiss Me Through the Phone," I give the majority of credit to Jonsin and smooth-yet-generic-voiced Sammie for making me legitimately like a track that's credited to Soulja. Who cares if it sounds veryyyyyy similar to No. 5 on this list? It's catchy. It's stupidly relatable. It contains great depth, especially in the verses. (That last one was a joke.) But I don't want to talk about Soulja any longer, might get too frustrated. Let's move on.

Nelly "Just A Dream" (2010)

It's crazy what has happened to Nelly. The guy created great, and I mean great hip-pop in the early part of the decade -- "Country Grammar" and "Ride Wit Me" to name only two -- yet severely fell off a cliff (not unlike the infamous O'Doyles) musically since. I would venture to say that he hadn't made a legit, good song in five years (I'm counting "Grillz"). Until this one dropped.

Sure, it was inescapable on the radio (a pattern you'll see with Jonsin productions) for a month or so, but don't let that deter you from appreciating its quality. A cool guitar lick opens and sets the tone for Nelly to absolutely kill the melody, a common thread in Jonsin productions. Maybe there are better songs in Jonsin's discography, but there mere fact that this song resurrected Nelly from a musical graveyard in STL kicked it up a few notches in my book. When Nelly is good, he's very good at creating well-rounded hip-pop. Give Jonsin a Deron Williams-esque assist on this one and enjoy.


Find out the rest of the countdown, including which #1 hit is #1, after the jump!

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GWHH's Readers: Top 3 Sneakers of 2009

After nearly a week of voting, it's time for the winners to be announced...
(Here's the previous list of candidates)

1. Nike Air Yeezys
2. Nike Air Jordan XI Space Jams
3. Converse X UNDFTD Poor Man's Weapon

I don't think it was a big surprise that the Nike Air Yeezys took 1st place.  As I stated before, you either loved them or hated 'em and it appears GWHH has a lot of love.  They were definitely the biggest hype from Nike this year and this hype started way before anyone knew the name of them or whether or not they'd be released to the public.  The craze began all around the internet for these "unknown" sneakers immediately following Kanye West's performance of "Stronger" at the 2008 Grammys.  If you have your pair, hold on to 'em and if your looking to grab one, expect to be droppin' at least $500.

GWHH's Runner-up was the Nike Air Jordan XI Space Jams.  There's a history behind these shoes like no other...First worn by Michael Jordan on May 14th, 1995 in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals, then a year later in Jordan's debut in Hollywood with the motion picture Space Jam, and finally being released to the public in late 2000.  These shoes created almost a cult following, with some pairs selling for as much as $650 to those who couldn't when released.  The 2009 Space Jams were one of Nike's most hyped sneaker releases of the year, beginning as early as March when the first images were dropped.  Keep them soles ICY!

In 3rd place, was another successful collaboration by Converse and UNDFTD.  These were actually released on Armed Forces Day and personally were one of my favorite sneakers of 2009.  Matt Halfhill said it perfectly, "Another W for Undefeated's winning streak."

Gallery sneak peek (3 images):

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10 Predictions for 2010


You know we couldn't let the year get away without a post inspired by the end of the decade. However, here you won't find another recap of the best albums or songs of the decade; those lists are already played out not only on hip hop websites but across all of entertainment. Instead, with the help of GWHH partner-in-crime Maks G., we came up with 10 predictions for 2010! It's amazing to see the difference a year can make for the artist (ask Drake) or the industry and this time next year, we expect both to be drastically different while bearing some familiar names. Hit the gallery for all 10 predictions!

Finally, Maks and I would like to thank you for your continued support throughout 2009 and into the future! Be sure to have a safe and happy new year as we look forward to 2010!

Gallery sneak peek (10 images):

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GWHH Top 10 Sneakers of 2009


As we approach 2010, I thought it would be fitting to take a look back at some of 2009's hottest sneakers. As we glanced back over this year's releases, it was quite obvious sneaker heads were blessed with a excellent year. Nike as usual, had plenty of successful re-releases while also introducing us to one of their most loved and hated kicks: Air Yeezys. Other companies such as Reebok, Adidas, Supra and Clae also made some big moves in the industry while offering us some solid options.

I was able to narrow the list down to 10 sneakers, which I felt earned their spot in the Top 10 of 2009. Check out the slideshow found at the bottom of the post for up close pics of each of pair. There is no order to the slideshow since I found it rather difficult to rank these sneakers.  Instead, we decided to let the readers VOTE and select their No. 1 Sneaker of 2009.  You can place your VOTE right below, and we'll announce the results for the No. 1 Sneaker of 2009 sometime next week. Stay Tuned and CAST YOUR VOTE!

Gallery sneak peek (10 images):

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