Paul Wall Interview
|Label:||Paul Wall Music|
|Next Project:||Get Money Stay True|
|Twitter:||Paul Wall on Twitter|
|Website:||Paul Wall's Website|
In the late 1980’s when rap music was beginning to slowly but surely achieve mainstream success, government officials and music industry professionals all agreed that the music form was a fad. It was never expected that rap music would make it to today, let alone the new millennium. Twenty-five years later rap continues to dominate pop culture and its success has allowed its stars to branch out and invest their earning in a plethora of entrepreneurial goldmines. Allow me to introduce the brain child behind most of these business ventures, Paul Wall. The Houston upstart might enjoy recording music, but with his hands in the grills, rims, bobble head dolls and clothing cookie jars, the expression “Sky’s the Limit,” just has a totally different meaning. In an interview with DJBooth.net’s DJ “Z,” Paul talks about his trip to the killing fields of Sierra Leone, his new group experience as a member of Expensive Taste, and how soon enough the public will be able to purchase a rim that allows you to skate on ice AND roll on chrome.
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Paul Wall Interview Transcription
DJ Booth: What’s goin’ on ya’ll its your boy “Z,” doin’ it real big with DJ Booth.net, and on the phone with me reppin’ that Houston Texas baby all day, gettin’ money—AND—stayin’ true—my man Paul Wall. How ya’ doin’?
Paul Wall: What it do baby—man doin’ good—holdin’ it down-getting’ money-staying’ true—just doin’ my thing man. My new album is out in stores right now. I’m going from city to city promoting, and just lettin’ people know that it’s out, so they can go pick it up, right now.
DJ Booth: Paul, is it possible to get money and stay true?
Paul Wall: Well yes, it definitely is, and that’s why I think I accomplished it with this new album, and I think they gonna love it. I think the fans gonna love it when they go pick it up. It’s all about getting’ that money—staying’ on the grind, but at the same time staying’ true. I’m just stayin’ humble, and true. It’s good right now baby—staying’ true baby.
DJ Booth: Yes sir. You went platinum on your debut album, “The Peoples Champ.” What has to happen to achieve similar success on this album?
Paul Wall: Man—we’ve had a lot of success already. How much it sells doesn’t really matter to me. We stepped it up a lot with the lyrics, and with the music. We’ve grown so much lyrically. I’ve grown so much as an artist. We’ve grown [so much] as a team, that the album is already a success in my eyes. I’m just so happy that it’s doin’ what it’s doin’ and sellin’, so it’s all good, man. I ain’t tripping’.
DJ Booth: You mentioned lyrically. Paul, you put things in prospective unlike many other MC’s. I have a name for you; to me…you are the “Sultan of the Simile.”
Paul Wall: Thank you homey—that’s hot right there. Thank you!
DJ Booth: If I could come up with a better word than the Sultan, I would—but if you like it—and you use it—I’m going to need 5% every time…
Paul Wall: [laughing]… Ha-ha-ha-it’s all good man—it’s all good.
DJ Booth: Let’s talk about the album. Your wife, Crystal joined you on two of the album cuts, “On The Grind,” and “How Gangstas Roll.” How did you go about separating the checks?
Paul Wall: Heh-heh-heh, man you know, Wifey, she get ‘da money anyway at the end of the day. She gonna find a way to get her hands on it. She gonna find a way to get that money, so it don’t matter.
DJ Booth: You brought R&B singer Jon B. out of the woodwork to sing on the album. Why not some of the newer, more current R&B sensations?
Paul Wall: He actually reached out to me. We worked on one of his albums, and then he came down to the studio [in Houston.] My boy “T. Farris?” said, “Why don’t we get a song with Jon B. on here?” We had this song that Mr. Lee produced and I just loved the song and the beat. Crystal, my wife, and Lil’ Keke sat down and wrote the song, with Jon B., and it was beautiful thing!
DJ Booth: Paul, there were rumors on the Internet stating how “He’s an entrepreneur. He doesn’t really need to rhyme anymore…” If you were retired from rapping, would you be able to live happily ever after?
Paul Wall: Oh yeah man. You know I love music so much, and as long as I got all this enthusiasm and ambition, and passion for this music; as long as I’m having’ fun—I’m gonna keep doin’ it.
DJ Booth: You should, because you would have a lot of fans pissed off at you, if you stopped.
Paul Wall: Ha-ha, for sure man.
DJ Booth: You had the opportunity to visit Sierra Leone, and to study the blood diamond conflict. To see the aftermath of what has gone on from their civil wars…describe what that experience was like for you?
Paul Wall: It put my priorities in line, with my wife, my son. Just goin’ over there, while he was just 2 months old, made me realize all the opportunities. It’s just that God guided me to all the open doors. God has blessed me. It just made me appreciate Him, that much more. It just inspired me to get involved. You know? It inspired me to be a part of makin’ a change. Not only over there, but also in our country, and to open people’s eyes, to all the atrocities over there. It just ain’t fair. Pure and simple—it ain’t right. For a change, we got this organization now, named “Ba’ Ba’ Bling.” We’re tryin’ to help out with the orphanages over there, to keep them going. It’s like a war goin’ on, so we gonna keep that Clinic open. We gonna kick poverty, and get that city cleaned up. It’s a beautiful country, and these people deserve a decent place to live. We makin’ changes slowly-but-surely as this organization grows, we gonna try to see some changes goin’ on.
DJ Booth: That is absolutely wonderful, and not a lot of people [in your position] would do something like that, Paul. Moving along, you are going to be releasing new music as apart of the group, “Expensive Taste” with Travis Barker and Rob Aston. What can fans expect from Paul Wall that is different from your performance as a solo artist?
Paul Wall: Well it’s still gonna be the same Paul Wall, the same similes, and I’m just doin’ my thing. You know the same as Rob. Travis is a part of the production, so he’s different. It’s just a nice little mash-up of three different artists, with three types of styles. We just came together. We are all just ourselves on there. Travis is just Travis and Rob is just Rob.
DJ Booth: You were a part of a group earlier in your career though, The Color Changin Clique. Was there anything about your first group experience that made you question whether or not you wanted to get involved again as a member of a collective?
Paul Wall: If you choose the right people for the group, it goes a little bit differently. At the same time, you can’t always predict what’s going to happen. Success might change people. You know, money might change people. We just hold on to the same friends and the same values. We all three friends and we have patience for each other. We all successful in our own solo careers, so this is somethin’ that we’re not in for the money. If it sells or doesn’t sell, it’s not going to make one difference on the way we make decisions. We’re in it, because we love music. We makin’ it together as a group, so we don’t have anybody’s opinion. If it doesn’t sell, we not gonna be broke. We’re fine financially, irregardless of the group. We just doin’ it as a positive thing.
DJ Booth: I know that you and a lot of artists in this industry are jumpin’ on the back of a lot of side projects and investments. Obviously, you’ve got a lot going on with the “Grills” business, but is there anything we don’t know about yet, publicly, that you can spill the beans on?
Paul Wall: Well, I’ve got my Grills: Grills by Paul Wall. I’ve got that goin’ on back home. We got [the] Expensive Taste clothing line, and limited editions from Famous Stars & Straps, all on the website. Also, we got the Paul Wall bobble heads and the one-size fits all grills. Other than grills, we got a new line of rims by Nitti wheels—called the Masquerade. It’s a chrome rim with an iced out face plate that can be taken off. So you can skate on ice or roll on chrome. We also have the iced out front end grills… haha.
DJ Booth: You’re always two steps ahead of everyone in this business Paul. Now, I have a personal question. I have expensive taste, but I don’t always have expensive bills in my wallet. So how can I have that expensive taste, but cut the cost?
Paul Wall: This is what you should do man. You should go to myspacepage.com/Expensive Taste. We send a lot of the fans free stuff. You can get your free mixtapes, free shirts. We got contests goin’ on, so that you can have all the expensive taste that we got.
DJ Booth: I appreciate you lookin’ out for me and everyone else Paul. I know that you’ve previously stated you got the Internet goin’ nuts, so tell everyone where they can log-on to find out more about Paul Wall…
Paul Wall: We got quite a few of them: www.grillsbypaulwall.com, www.expensivetastemerch.com, www.myspace.com/expensivetaste, www.myspace.com/paulwall.
DJ Booth: Paul Wall, I wish you nothing’ but the best of luck…
Paul Wall: Thank you Homey. It was good talkin’ to ya “Z.”