Paul Wall After releasing two years ago his debut “The Peoples Champ”, Paul Wall now releases his follow up “Get Money, Stay True”. On this album you can see Paul branching out and working with different artists such as Snoop Dogg, Lil Keke, and an interesting collaboration with R&B singer Jon B. Paul Wall is the second rapper beside 2pac to have worked with Jon B and also his side group Expensive Taste with Blink 182’s guitarist Travis Barker. In this exclusive interview, he talks about working with these artists, the creative process of some of his most famous songs, connecting with Swishahouse, and his love for the 1′ and 2’s. Special thanks to Catherine McNelly and Ashley White at Atlantic records for getting me this interview.
By William Hernandez
WHO?MAG: Let’s talk about the new album. PAUL WALL: It’s called “Get Money, Stay True”. It’s in stores right now. It has some guest appearances on there; Trina, Juelz Santana, Jermaine Dupri, Lil Keke, Freeway, Big Snoop Dogg. We also got the screwed and chopped version in stores done my boy Michael “5000” Watts. It’s selling pretty good. I’m having a lot of fun on the road promoting it.
WHO?MAG: How did you get with Snoop Dogg for the song “Everybody Know Me” and Jon B for the song “Tonight”? PAUL WALL: I had made him some grillz a while back. I ended up doing a song for the Dogg Pound for their album “Cali iz Active”. He’s always been one of my favorite artists. I’ve always wanted to work with. I just reached out and he did the song for me. I got a lot of love for him because he stopped everything he was doing to make time for me. Much love to big Snoop Dogg for that. Jon B reached out to me to do a song on his new album about to come out. When he came down to Houston, we recorded it. The song turned out great. We just had an idea why don’t we do another one for my album and we just did it and knocked it out. My boy Lil Keke and my wife ended up helping him write the song. It’s a great song. I got it on repeat. I can listen to it all night long. He’s real laid back and cool person.
WHO?MAG: Who handle’s most of the production on the album? PAUL WALL: Most of the production is handled by Mr. Lee who is a producer based out of Texas. Also my boy Travis Barker did a few songs on there.
WHO?MAG: What’s the difference between this album and the first one? PAUL WALL: Probably the amount of work we put into it. We put a lot more work into it: recording in the studio, day after day, coming up with new songs, new concepts, ideas, trying new things out. We made like about 40 songs and we choose the best 14. On the People’s Champ we only made 14.
WHO?MAG: Talk about the Grills song with Nelly and Big Gipp? PAUL WALL: Nelly and them came up with it. They reached out to me to be a part of it.
WHO?MAG: How did you get with Swishahouse records? PAUL WALL: They were real popular in my neighborhood for a long time with the mixtapes and DJing parties. Growing up, they used to throw these high school parties. I got cool with Michael Watts. We just got to be pretty good friends. Next thing you know, I started working for them doing promotions. I’d put up posters, pass out flyers, mail CDs. I always rapping the whole time, but it just was fun. Michael Watts gave me shot. Ten, eleven years later, here I am.
WHO?MAG: How did the Still Tippin’ collab with Mike Jones come about? PAUL WALL: They came up with this old sample that Slim Thug had did a while back on freestyle he had did in 1999. Michael Watts sampled it and made a beat around it. We did for this compilation called “The Day That Hell Broke Out II”. They just reached out and got Mike Jones and me on the song.
WHO?MAG: Did you ever think that Chopped and Screwed music would be as popular as it has become? PAUL WALL: I never thought it would. It’s something we love in Texas. I never imagined I’d hear Justin Timberlake, Ciara, and artists like that doing screwed and chopped songs.
WHO?MAG: I know you started off as a DJ. What equipment do you use and who were your influences to get into DJing? PAUL WALL: I used to use Technic 1200s and Pioneer mixer. Now a days I got the CDJ-1000. Michael Watts and DJ Screw were my inspirations to get into DJing.
WHO?MAG: Talk to me about the group you got with Travis Barker called Expensive Taste? PAUL WALL: We got Travis Barker doing all the production. Skinhead Rob and I do all the rapping. It’s off the chain. We got a lot of great music. We got a free mixtape that you can download off our myspace page www.myspace.com/expensivetaste. We made a clothing line out of it too. Check out at www.expensivetastemerch.com.
WHO?MAG: Talk to me about the creative process behind “Sittin Sideways”? PAUL WALL: Same thing as Still Tippin’. Michael Watts had sampled this old freestyle by Big Poke. I just went in and did my verses. I had the easy part. They pretty much came up with it.
WHO?MAG: What’s next up for Paul Wall? PAUL WALL: Same thing. Just out here grinding my website, www.grillsbypaulwall.com. Just promoting that. We just came out with Paul Wall bobble heads and a lot of t shirts.