The hip-hop world is a less than sensible place -lots of times, you're even required to clarify when bad means bad and when bad means good- so once a week we're going to get with a rapper and ask them to explain things. Have something you always wanted to ask a rapper? Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paul Wall is a Houston legend. He co-wrote Get Ya Mind Correct, one of the best rap albums in Houston history. Another of his works landed at the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Top 200. And he's one of only a handful of our guys who has ever even been nominated for a Grammy. Or, Paul Wall was a Houston legend who's since become something less appealing. He did a record with Brooke Hogan. He made cameos in both a Nickelback video and that terrible Tucker Max movie. His "white guy in a black guy's world" schtick has all but usurped his actual personality. We're not sure which one of those categories he belongs to. Chances are it's both. But either way, we've written enough about him (made enough jokes about him, whatever) that he's somehow curiously morphed into a one of the interviews we coveted hardcore. And here's how we know God hates us. With his and Chamillionaire's In Love Wit My Money tour in motion - the duo headline OGPR and AllHipHop's "Best In Texas" SXSW showcase Wednesday night at La Zona Rosa, and will be coming to Houston April 24 at House of Blues - Wall has made himself available to the media.
Prior to the phone interview we had scheduled, we went out and nabbed a Panasonic RR-QR 160 Voice Recorder. It's a very nice, very reliable piece of machinery. Only thing is, when you hold a Panasonic RR-QR 160 Voice Recorder up to a cell phone for more than a few seconds, the mixture of frequencies causes a terrible BWWAAAHHHHH!!!! noise to be recorded rather than actual voices. So what follows is the transcribed material from the first few seconds of the AAR interview with Wall, along with the notes we were able to scribble down when we realized that God was smiting us yet again.
Paul WallThis Week's Subject(s):
Will the 2005 guys ever get the world's attention back; Chamillionaire; evolving as a rapper; dinocrocodiles.[Our phone begins ringing at precisely 7:29 p.m. Wall's PR lady said he'd call at 7:30 pm.] Ask A Rapper: Hello? [We did our absolute best to sound cool when we answered the phone. Somehow, this manifested in a semi-British/semi-South African accent. What we actually said sounded more like "Ah-low."
Paul Wall: Hey, it's Paul Wall.AAR: Holy Christ, it's the People's Champ.
PW: Yeah.AAR: It's just, [we've] written so much about you that it's weird to actually be talking to you. Ummm, okay. Let [us] ask this, and this is a question for [us] more than anything, but do you read what's written about you? Like, [we] see you on Twitter all the time so [we] thought that maybe you'd be the type of guy to keep up with that sort of thing.
PW: Nah, I try to stay away from it, most of the negative stuff. I've got pretty thick skin. [laughs] It's real easy to get caught up and want to defend yourself, so I try to stay away from it.AAR: Oh thank God, because [we've] made a lot of Paul Wall jokes.
PW: [laughs] Panasonic RR-QR 160: BWWAAAHHHHH!!!!Notes from the rest of the interview:
When Wall talks, he sounds nothing like he does when he raps. It's kind of weird, but mostly cool. We halfway expected him to answer every question with "Whut it dew?" and "I got the Internet goin' nuts." When we mentioned this to him he laughed. In 2005, Houston rappers ran the world. They're just now beginning to rate on a national scale again. Wall says that they can get back to that elite status, but it won't be easy. And that people need to try harder to work together more. He says that Cham and his people put the idea of them joining up together again for a tour out there first. Wall was happy to get together again. When we mentioned to him again that we have purchased every album he's put out (which is not exactly true; we did not pay for
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) even though he's been on the business side of many of our barbs, he responded with silence.
Wall will be in a movie that will premiere on the Sci-Fi channel in the summer about a giant alligator (or maybe it's a crocodile). It might be called Predator X. It is set in Louisiana. He will play a mechanic. He would not say whether or not he gets eaten. To that last point, Wall is friends with Tucker Max, that's why Wall was in his movie. In case you weren't one on the nine fraternity guys to go see it, Wall played a rapper by the name Grillionaire. He parodied himself in an inspired bit of acting. Sadly, he did not get a nod from the Oscars for his role. Wall was shocked by the omission. There are only four Houston rappers that have ever even been nominated for a Grammy. He is one of them. When we mentioned this to him, he didn't seem too fazed. His exact response: "Yeah, I knew it wasn't too many." We once wrote that Wall's voice (and general manner of being, for that matter) has become more and more hyperbolized as his career has progressed. While discussing his upcoming album, Heart of a Champion, he said that he is getting better with time, that's why it's changing. When we mentioned to him that it is generally accepted that Get Ya Mind Correct, which is almost ten years old, is the best work he's ever done, he retorted that change is optimum. Then he cited Jay-Z's "Niggas want my old shit, buy my old album" line to crystallize his point. There's no recovering from that. You know that face that the prosecutor in My Cousin Vinny makes after Marissa Tomei goes on the stand and gives the speech about how it couldn't have been the defendants in the getaway car because their car didn't have positraction steering and the one used in the getaway did, thus completely shattering the prosecution's defense? That's the exact same face we were making. It's 100 percent correct. Game, Wall. Follow Wall on Twitter at @paulwallbaby.