Jim Jonsin Talks Producing for T.I., Yelawolf, B.o.B and Jeezy
Is that Yelawolf alone? Or are there features on that track?
That’s just Yela, yeah. We’re going to feature a singer on the chorus because it got a real emotional chorus. We’re going to get in for another two weeks before [his album’s] done.
How is it being in the studio with Eminem and Yelawolf?
It’s just three creative people vibing. Eminem has very strong, good concepts. He’ll sit with us and we’ll talk about direction and where we’re going to go. Then it’s about feeling the room out when you’re making beats–see if Em is digging it, Yela is digging it. From there, he lets Yelawolf do his thing, then he puts his input in and co-writes whatever. Yela and I were talking about…I actually introduced Eminem to Yelawolf, played his videos for them.
What did you say to Em about Yelawolf?
I told Eminem, Look, in terms of Yelawolf being a new artist and new White rapper coming out, he’s going to get compared to you. People are going to say, Oh, he’s trying to be like you, but if you get in with this kid, maybe do a couple of records with him–some sort of co-sign–it’s going to help. Eminem is a legend and if he puts his stamp on somebody it’s a great thing, but I think he sort of owes that to somebody like Yela because he knows how hard it is being a White rapper. Yela and I talked and we manifested that situation of what it would be like if he signed to Eminem. That’d be crazy. When we got in, I made it my point to open my mouth and he signed him, which is incredible. God is good. I still get to produce for him. Eminem was graceful enough to allow me to come in and still work with him. I look at Yela like a kid brother. I want him to win regardless. Same thing with B.O.B. I look at him like a little brother also.
Are you working with Eminem individually also?
When he gets in, I hope he reaches out. There’s no guarantees, but I’d love to be a part of it.
Fans are aware of the whole Lil Wayne “Lollipop” lawsuit over unpaid royalties. Is all that squashed?
Well, we handled the business end of that with Cash Money with Slim and Birdman, but Lil Wayne and I never had beef. We were hit with a couple of lawsuits from different people that’s over now and then the royalty thing. They have a history of being a label that conducts business a certain way. I knew that going in, but we have an understanding now and everything is cool. Me and Wayne never had a problem. I just sent a record to them to do. I’m not sure if they’re going to cut it or not.
Producers often make beats with an artist in mind but it winds up in the hands of another artist. Do you have situations like that?
Yeah, “Lollipop” was that story. “Lollipop” was the beat I was making for Diddy, Danity Kane. A guy named Slam told me that he needs the next “Showstoppers” because I did that. I made “Lollipop,” [Danity Kane] wasn’t really feeling it. I brought it over to Static and he had a melody, chorus, bridge and delivered it to Wayne. Another one and I hate this story, but Baby Bash called me about doing this remix. But they sent the wrong record like, Aw man that’s the wrong one! They sent the right one, I remixed that, readjusted it and that was “Whatever You Like” T.I. It worked out. I worked with Rich Boy on some songs and I worked with Yo Gotti and we were playing the “Just a Dream” track and we had a different hook ideas. They both passed on that record. It wound up being “Just a Dream” for Nelly and that was huge. I know the records, the beats that are going to be big. You could never go away from that feeling.
How did you get into racing?
I grew up around cars. My buddy told me he wants to take me to the track, but I didn’t have the right car. My wife has a BMW. I asked her, Baby, can I take your car to this driver’s education thing. She’s like, Sure. Had I known, I was going to be killing it–breaks gone. After that any track I got invited to, I’d go. Then I started my own racing team with a friend. I love it. Hopefully, I’ll bring some artists out to the track.