The other day, when U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte was showing off his collection of jewel-encrusted mouthpieces (or "grills") to an NBC interviewer, we couldn't help but wonder if Paul Wall had a hand in it somehow.
Of course he did. One grill in particular, made to look like the U.S. flag is now world-famous after Lochte wore it after winning the men's 400-meter individual medley Saturday night. The former Houston rapper, who started the Grills by Paul Wall with friend TV Johnny about 15 years ago, gave the swimmer an "Olympic discount," Wall told XXL magazine this morning.
Wall says Lochte's custom Stars and Stripes grill -- which the swimmer supposedly snuck onto the medal stand after a U.S. Swimming representative warned him he wouldn't get his medal if he did -- is a hand-prong set with VS diamonds and rubies, and retails between $15 and $25,000.
I'm just honored to be part of it," Wall said. "There's not too many world-class swimmers wearing our grill."
Lochte had previously ordered a grill from Wall before, but the rapper says the Olympic set was his first custom job for the swimmer. The swimmer's medal was Team USA's first gold medal of the 2012 London Olympics.
According to Wall, grills have fallen somewhat out of fashion, but Lochte's endorsement -- as well as young rappers such as Meek Mill and 2 Chainz -- is helping to revive them.
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Any other Olympian who wins gold, he added, will receive a gold grill "on the house."
See the entire interview at XXL.com.