Is an introduction really needed when it comes to one of the south’s biggest and best rappers? OK well for everyone out there, this time round I bring you Paul Wall, Texas undisputed champ!!! With a massively successful music career and an online jewellery store bursting at the seams with precious metal and stones I thought the time was right to catch up with “the people’s champ” and get the 411 on his past, present and future!
Hey, thanks for taking the time to do this interview with us at www.britishhiphop.co.uk.
Let me get right to it, You are without a doubt one of the pioneers of Southern HIP HOP, at what point in your life did you realise your talent?
Paul Wall: When I was in high school we used to rap for fun on the school bus. But it was just a hobby. But I just followed the lead of Michael 5000 Watts and grinded hard.
You used to do street promotion for Def Jam and No Limit records when you were a teenager, do you think street teams really do help with the hype?
Paul Wall: Yeah it taught me the importance of promotion. I used to bust my ass for somebody else’s record sales, and we never really got appreciated for it so I make sure I show appreciation to the street teams who promote me.
Tell us about the Grillz, man everybody wants a grill, how did you come to literally be the king of Grillz? Where do you start with an empire like that? You have a full online jewellery store as well now right?
Paul Wall: Yeah its www.grillsbypaulwall.com. It all started when I was about 16 I wanted a grill because they were real popular where I was from. This guy named Crime moved to my neighbourhood from Brooklyn and started selling these removable style grills. I got a job working for him doing promotions and he eventually he showed me the ropes on how to make the grills, now me and him are partners with my boy Johnny Dang. We sell grills worldwide now thanks to www.grillsbypaulwall.com and also we have a store in Houston Texas called TV jewellery. We do all kinds of custom jewellery. We also have our own line of watches.
How did the link with Michael “5000” Watts surface?
Paul Wall: He was a real popular DJ around my neighbourhood and on the radio in Houston. He used to put out these mix-tapes with Slim Thug freestyling. He also used to throw these real crunk parties and I used to promote for him so he took me under his wing
The legendary PIMP C passed away recently, how do you think his death is going to have an affect on Southern HIP HOP as a whole?
Paul Wall: He's gonna really be missed. He was one of the greatest.
Tell us about the “Get Money Stay True” album?
Paul Wall: We got some great callabo's on there with Trina, Juelz Santana, Freeway, JD, and LL KEKE. We really grew a lot on this album compared to the previous ones. I'm really happy about its success. We also released a special screwed and chopped version that my boy Michael Watts remixed that's off the chain.
You have released 6 albums since you started over 10 years ago, to date on a personal level which has been your most successful release?
Paul Wall: Probably my most recent release Get Money Stay True. We worked hard to put it together and we really came out with some great songs. We stepped it up a lot on this album, you can hear how much we've matured.
When you are not making smash hit music or custom made jewellery how do you like to just kick back and relax? Are you a big family man?
Paul Wall: I love baseball, especially my hometown team the Houston Astros. I'm a season ticket holder! You can catch me there cheering on my team and cursing out the other team.
You have a vast car collection or as they say down south a wide selection of SLABS, for those unfamiliar what does SLAB actually stand for? And which car in your fleet is most precious?
Paul Wall: Yeah we call our old classic cars 'slabs' in Texas. For me I love Cadillacs a lot. That's all I have. My favourite right now is this 1991 Fleetwood. Its painted candy by 3rd Coast Customs, and its sitting on '84's and Vogue tires with TV screens falling down from the roof and the trunk ajar with neon lights breaking 'em off.
I heard you recently linked up a group? “Expensive Taste” tell us about that?
Paul Wall: Yeah its me, Skinhead Rob, and Travis Barker. Travis does all the production and me and Rob do the rapping. We've been in the lab for a while now coming out with some good stuff. We also got a clothing line that we released. Our website is www.expensivetastemerch.com.
What can the fans expect from you in 2008?
Paul Wall: Same thing for me, just grinding hard with this music and these clothes and these iced out grills.
Interview for British Hip Hop courtesy of Underground Promotion UK.