I mention Jim Jones because gangsta rap is still a valid form of rap music, even if I don't like it. I respect it and with Jim Jones is particular, he is kind of like the new a solo version of the LOX, and is better than all the other new gangsta rappers like Young Jeezy and trash like that. If anyone knows of a better new gangsta rapper, let me know who they are and I will check them out instead.
As for Mike Shinoda, he is a good writer and producer, and he raps pretty good as well. No he is not Jay-Z, but overall as an artist, I think he is one of the best new artists in hip hop even though he is in a rock band. Styles of Beyond really put his album over the top, but even without them, that is still a pretty good album. And I don't listen to the radio so I wouldn't know how much his songs are played, but I was also looking at the fact that he is starting to build a nice label with SOB, Jonah Matranga, and the fact he is producing beats for people like Lupe. And looking at the Reanimation ablum where he worked with people like Planet Asia, Motion Man, Zion, Chali 2na, Pharoahe Monch, KutMasta Kurt, and people like that I think he has a strong connection with the underground. Have a couple hit singles doesn't take that away to me. He is like Will.I.Am who has had some major hits and sold tons of albums with BEP, but still does an album for Sergio Mendes and a song with Jack Herrera.