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Paul Wall All Smiles At Album-Release Party

Paul Wall All Smiles At Album-Release Party
Photos by Shea Serrano

4:41 p.m.: Ack. Driving from the far south side of town to the far north side of town between 4:15 and 6:15 p.m. has to be what it felt like to drive from one side of Texas to the other by stagecoach. This is the worst. Hopefully we packed enough canned meats and fresh drinking water for the trip.

5:15: Traffic, traffic, traffic. Jesus. Who designed the highway system in Houston? It was probably the same guy that designed that Baby Tangle toy. No joke, did you know that Houston has the second-worst highway bottleneck in the entire country? Google it.

5:41: You remember that scene at the beginning of Vertical Limit where Chris O'Donnell is climbing the mountain with his dad and his sister and all of sudden they're climbing lines get all effed up, and O'Donnell has to decide between trying to save his dad and possibly killing all three of them or cutting his dad loose and definitely killing him but saving himself and his sister? That's what traversing Houston traffic at rush hour is like. Kill me now, kill me now, kill me now...

6:08: Made it. Rejoice.

6:15: The line to meet Paul is about 50 people deep right now. Is it cool to say "deep"? It feels kind of weird. Let's try that one again...

6:15:04: The line to meet Paul is about 50 people long. Yes, yes. That's much better.

6:19: Oh, hey, did you know that Greenspoint Mall's nickname is Gunspoint Mall? Splendid.

Paul Wall All Smiles At Album-Release Party

6:22: J-Mac from The Box is here. He's wearing a 97.9 The Box basketball jersey. It's black with red lettering and red stripes down the side. His shorts are solid red. His shoes are solid red too. If somebody's wardrobe is 80 percent red, you can bet it's gonna get a mention.

6:28: There are a bunch of fliers all around the store. One is for some no-name rapper's CD. It advertises several smash hits that you've never heard of. People are way too okay with musicians throwing around the "smash hit" tag. It's not a smash hit just because you say it is. You know what? Never mind. Fuck it, from now on we are going to refer to our penis as being a smash hit.

6:30: Has anyone ever seriously woke up and been like, "Man, today I want to buy a copy of the In The Mix soundtrack, but only if it's a used copy." Fuckin' Music Depot is the best.

6:33: Paul Wall is here. Cool. Some guy from the store makes a brief intro - Ladies and gentlemen, Houston's finest, Paul Wall is in the building, or something like that-- then Wall gets to signing stuff.

6:36: Best weird fact you wouldn't have expected to learn at a Paul Wall meet and greet: high-end memory foam mattress can cost upwards of $5,000.

6:37: Man, Wall is a nice dude. He's signing everything, even for people who didn't buy a copy of the CD. When we have the meet and greet signing on the day of our album release (coming shortly, by the way) there is no way we are signing anything for anyone that hasn't purchased a copy of it. "What's that you say, small poor child? You want me to sign a poster for you because you can't afford a CD? Okay. Better yet, hey, how about this: fuck off. Security!!!" That's how that's gonna go.

Paul Wall All Smiles At Album-Release Party

6:44: Just touched hands with Samaan Ashrawi, an enterprising young man from Houston who is attending UT and trying to bring their hip-hop radio show back into prominence. He says his first concert was a Paul Wall show. Also, he grew up near Slim Thug. Said he and his friends would drive by his house when they were bored just because. How can you not like a guy like that?

6:50: SwishaHouse's Lil Young is here. Says he wrote "a song for the ladies." You can't overstate how excited we are to hear it.

6:52: People are still rolling in. Probably more than 125 or so have been up to Paul's signing station.

6:59: Wall just signed an empty bottle of Patron. Funny thing about that: Wall actually hasn't been drinking too much anymore. Matter of fact, he hasn't been eating too much either. After he ballooned up to over 300 pounds, he got one of those stomach surgeries then worked out like a mutha. He was actually asked if he wanted to be a contestant on Celebrity Fit Club. He's cut more than 110 pounds already. That's pretty much like getting rid of one and a half Hollywood Flosses.

Paul Wall All Smiles At Album-Release Party

7:18: So we're behind the signing table with Paul asking him questions about whatever - mostly about why he let TV Johnny get a feature on the new album - while he continues signing things. It's cool, but also kind of sucks. People keep walking up all excited to meet Paul. He signs posters or CDs or whatever then smiles for a few pictures with each. Then they glance our way to see if they recognize us, then turn away all disappointed and shit because they don't.

7:19: New best weird fact you wouldn't have expected to learn at a Paul Wall meet and greet: Detroit has the largest Palestinian population in the country.

7:23: Hey, fat girls wearing skinny girls' clothes. Cool. That happens a lot at these types of events. Actually, that happens a lot at all Houston events. Go Houston.

Paul Wall All Smiles At Album-Release Party

7:25: Someone handed Wall a baby. He didn't sign it, he just posed for a picture with it. Golden opportunity missed there. We mean, it's not like that parent could have gotten mad at him if he'd autographed it. If you take a baby to a rapper meet and greet, can you really get mad if said rapper signs it? You had that baby signing coming, sucka.

7:26: Were you aware that there is a musician named Da Twinkie Man? And he has an album called I'm In Love With A Crackhead? We reiterate: Fuckin' Music Depot is the best.

7:29: The mall closes at 9, but the ladies at the front of the store have just closed the gate. Are they locking us in? Or more distressing: Are they locking something out? Shit. This is how zombie movies always start. Time to go home, bitches.


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