The undisputed king of the red-hot Houston hip-hop scene is a heavily tattooed white guy with...
DJBooth Album Review
Nearly every verse on Get Money Stay True is about money, cars, and jewelry. In the hands of most MCs such repetition would get tired, but Wall’s lyrics are so original they always stay “fresher than a fruit bowl.” On the single I’m Throwed, produced by the omnipresent Jermaine Dupri, Wall manages to reference Steve Kerr, Chester Cheetah, autumn leaves, and STD’s, all in one verse. Get Money Stay True is full of such memorable moments. On Break Em’ Off, Wall rhymes “lesbian” with “pedestrian” over a basic but hypnotizing riff that grabs attention and never lets go. The key to Wall’s appeal is his ability to sound like he’s never really trying, a relaxed approach he shares with Snoop Dogg, who pairs with him on the radio-ready track Everybody Knows Me. Paul Wall’s got a long way to go before he reaches Doggfather status, but their stylistic similarities are unmistakable.
Where Wall falters is when he strays from his screwed up fundamentals. Tonight is a slow romantic ballad sung by Jon B, and Wall’s straightforward vocals sound awkward against the piano and violin harmonies. Wall can do hustlin’, but he cannot do sexy, unless you think calling a condom a “Gary Payton” (get it?) is sexy. That Fire is another sexually charged track that sounds just a little ridiculous, despite Trina’s best efforts to lend some erotic legitimacy to the grindin’ bass beat. Several of the tracks also feature his wife, Crys Wall, singing shining harmonies on upbeat tracks like On The Grind. Can Crys actually sing? Not really, but it’s hard to fault a man for putting his wife on his album. Wall is obviously a smart man.
When Paul Wall puts aside the lovemaking and sticks to wood-grained wheels and purple drinks, he’s the best in a screwed up business. Gimme That, one of the few songs that don’t have a guest verse, is a crunk infused ode to getting paper that’s a certified head nodder. Bangin Screw is another standout track on the album, a bangin (for lack of a better word) track built around a head-nodding beat and gospel-piano synths. Most MCs would be tempted to do something dramatic, but Wall keeps his cool and lays down some sharply cadenced verses that leave enough space for the beat to really ride. How hot is Bangin Screw? Let’s be real, I drive a 95’ Jetta, and despite my best efforts I had to turn the volume up and take my foot off the gas. In the end Paul Wall’s got another list of accomplishments to add to his resume: Get Money, check. Stay True, check. Make tracks so addictive you’ve got no choice but to get down or get out, and check.
DJBooth Rating - 4 Spins
Written by Nathan S. on Apr 09, 2007
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