Screwston, Texas

Five Spot: In Which We Recant A Few of the Japes We've Enjoyed at Paul Wall's Expense

Welcome back to Five Spot. Every Friday, we'll examine a recent bit of music news and, sometimes awkwardly, tie it to a bit of Houston rap. It's five videos and occasional cussing. Send tips to [email protected].

"I Need Mo," feat. Kobe and Travis Barker: A day or two ago, the video for Paul Wall's "I Need Mo" featuring Kobe - the singer, not the basketball player, although after that Brooke Hogan collaboration disaster you'd be forgiven for assuming otherwise - began popping up on all the hip-hop blogs and sites. Now, save for the fact that stylistically it's about two years away from being original, it's actually a fun song*. Nice production, fairly catchy hook, and so on and so forth.

*In the beginning of the video, he implies that he's out on the corner possibly participating in some unruly behavior. Had we not seen him tweet ad nauseum about baseball and trying to lose weight, we might've believed him. That part's kinda weak. And because it's nice outside and because we've been in a somewhat masochistic mood lately, we decided to peruse Wall's catalog and find five other collaborations of his that do not make us want to step barefoot onto a thumbtack.

Note: We will be ignoring all tracks from Get Ya Mind Right because that'd be way too easy.


"I'm 100" feat. Z-Ro and Yung Redd: This is another song from his Fast Life LP. We're slowly starting to realize that, in spurts, it's not a completely horrible album. We won't be listening to it during our leisure or anything, but should someone mention to us in conversation that they enjoyed it, we will not immediately want to punch them in the nose (which is typically how that'd make us feel).
"Drive Slow" feat. Kanye West, GLC & T.I.: Pretty sure we weren't the only ones that felt like Paul might've been swimming in water a little too deep for him here, which means we also weren't the only ones who were kinda proud that, with the exception of his "Whut it dew" opening line, he threw out a solid third-place performance. Note: Another reason we put this on here is because we spent something like 40 minutes one day trying to convince a friend that when Wall says something about have a "disco ball" in his mouth, he was really saying he had "dicks and balls" in his mouth. We're mature.
"I'm A Playa" (Screwed version) feat. Three 6 Mafia: The normal version of this song is terrible. This version is great. Can somebody please explain to us again why DJ Screw deserved to die?
"G-Gode" feat. Bun B & Webbie: We're not songwriters or anything, but even we could've seen that you'd get a good song if you took the instrumental from a Scarface song and then let Bun B go bonkers on it. Two other things: First, Webbie is cool here in that same way that Juvenile was cool on "Ha"; he sounds dumb and smart at the same time, which has the weird effect of making him seem super, super smart. If we had never heard any of Webbie's other music we'd think he was a genius. Unfortunately, we have. Second, listen to Paul carefully here. He's fairly good. The quality of his verses is always proportionate to the amount of times he makes a predictable analogy. He's only got three or so in this song. It'd be nice to see that a bit more.
"Fly" feat. Yung Joc and Guerilla Zoe: We're aware that the prevailing logic among music critics is to hate Yung Joc (we're still kinda pissed about 2006's New Joc City; swear to God if we ever get the chance to talk him we're are going to ask him for our $12 back; actually, probably not, but whatever) but whenever he's teamed up with a Houston artist he seems to come off as both charming and capable. We suppose he does kind of sound like a special-ed kid at times, but if the carefree bump of this song (which is a nice little "It's Going Down" knock-off) doesn't at least make you bob your head, you might be one too. Have a good weekend. Thanks for your support.

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Shea Serrano