By Dirty South Joe
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Mar. 14, 2007

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Photograph by Daniel Kramer

Paul "Paul Wall" Slayton, 26, aka "the People's Champ," has a new album Get Money, Stay True out April 3. "'Get money, stay true' was a slogan we had at Swishahouse about staying true to who we are," the rapper explains. "Staying true to our roots, maintaining and doing our thing--it just fit right in with me, 'cause I been gettin' money. After the success of the last album of course I had to evolve and adapt with that success."

Adaptation has never been an issue for Paul Wall, who came up on the Houston hip-hop scene with Chamillionaire as the Color Changin' Click. The pair released the independent classic Get Ya Mind Correct on Paid in Full Records in 2002 before parting ways.

After the split, Wall returned to Swishahouse (where he'd gotten his start working on the label's street team). He put out the Chick Magnet LP and the major label debut People's Champ, which went platinum and made him a bona fide star.

Ever the entrepreneur, he started a custom grill business in his native Houston, which has become the premier spot for rappers and ballers to get iced out.

When pressed to explain why, as a white rapper, he's seemingly been given a "ghetto pass"--his skin color being a nonissue--by the rap community, Paul Wall is direct and unphased. "I'm just me. I think the reason most people respect me is 'cause I don't care about nothin' but being me. I don't worry about what other people think. I don't just say it--I really mean it. There are a lot of people who don't like me, but it's cool. I ain't got no problem with that. As long as my bills are paid, my wife's got a smile on her face and my baby's happy--as long as they're straight--I'm good."

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