NBA YoungBoy Kids

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With his quick-witted lyrics, grills business success, and relatable everyman persona, Paul Wall has earned the nickname “The People’s Champ” in Houston rap circles. Since first emerging in the late 90s, the star has cemented himself as a pillar of Texas hip hop through countless mixtapes, albums, and collaborations. This in-depth profile explores Paul Wall’s musical career, business ventures, influence on Southern rap culture, and much more. Read on to learn about the Texas gem still keeping it trill after over two decades in the game.

Introducing Paul Wall – Hustler, Rapper, Entrepreneur

Born Paul Michael Slayton in Houston, TX on March 11, 1981, Paul Wall first started freestyling and rapping as a teenager in high school. Influenced by Texas hip hop originators like the Geto Boys, Fat Pat, and DJ Screw, he started releasing homemade tapes and performing around Houston alongside childhood friend and rap collaborator Chamillionaire (born Hakeem Seriki).

After the duo made noise regionally as The Color Changin’ Click, Paul Wall continued honing his craft and hustling to fund studio time. While also selling mixtapes on the streets and customizing cars, he strived to represent his hometown Houston to the fullest whenever he picked up a mic.

Paul Wall’s smooth flow, clever punchlines, and decidedly Southern sound caught the attention of fellow Houston native Mike Jones and Northside’s Slim Thug who signed Wall to their imprint, Swisha House Records. Now with label support, Wall’s 2005 major label debut The People’s Champ brought his music to the masses. Propelled by Texas smashes “They Don’t Know” featuring Bun B and “Sittin’ Sidewayz” featuring Big Pokey, the album hit #1 on Billboard’s Rap Albums chart.

While continuing his rap career, Paul Wall diversified his portfolio by getting into jewelry design and grills customization. Today TV Jewelry is a booming brand beloved by hip hop stars and fans globally. His hustler spirit and loyal hometown following have made Paul Wall an enduring fan favorite known for keeping it real.

Paul Wall’s Extensive Musical Catalog

With a tireless work ethic, Paul Wall has assembled an impressively massive discography over the past 20+ years. As a solo artist and collaborator, he has appeared on over 150 mixtapes, EPs, and albums. Highlights of his musical output include:

Solo Studio Albums

Collaboration Albums

Mixtapes & EPs

  • Breakin’ Bread (2003)
  • 3000 Degrees (2004)
  • The Future of the ATL, Screwed & Chopped (2005)
  • Mind on My Money (2006)
  • Fast Life (2015)
  • Houston Oiler (2016)

Singles

  • “Break Em Off” feat. Lil Keke (2002)
  • “Sittin Sidewayz” feat. Big Pokey (2005)
  • “Trill” feat Bun B (2005)
  • “Crumble” (2007)
  • “Livin the Life” (2008)
  • “I’m on Patron” (2011)
  • “Swangin in the Rain” feat. Slim Thug (2015)
  • “Crumbling’ Erb” (2016)

Musical Style and Influences

Hailing from Houston, Paul Wall helped shape the signature sound of Texas hip hop alongside lifelong friends like Chamillionaire and Slim Thug. His laidback flow, inventive slang, and southern drawl define his style. While polished, Wall’s music always carries the raw, DIY edge of Houston’s lively underground scene.

Early on, Houston pioneers like DJ Screw, UGK, and the Geto Boys influenced Wall’s swaggering sound and frank lyrical content. As he continued evolving, Wall incorporated more R&B melodies and pop crossover appeal into tracks without losing his regional flavor. His rhymes insightfully capture lifestyle and culture in Houston communities often overlooked.

Today, Paul Wall has emerged as an elder statesman and purveyor of classic H-Town rap music. While trends come and go, his chops and loyalty to his hometown have endured. Much like UGK’s Pimp C and DJ Screw, Wall’s music will be spun for generations as a quintessential piece of Texas’ musical heritage.

Standout Collaborations Over the Years

While a powerful solo act, Paul Wall understands the magic that happens when linking up with other creative forces. Throughout his extensive career, he has collaborated with many of Houston rap’s finest MCs and producers to deliver some memorable tracks. Standouts include:

Chamillionaire

As longtime running partners, Wall and Chamillionaire have countless songs together. Their chemistry over 20 years fueled classic albums like Get Ya Mind Correct (2002) and the major label effort Controversy Sells (2005). Time tested tracks include “Think I’m Crazy,” and “Turning Lane” featuring Lil Flip.

Slim Thug

Fellow Houston giant Slim Thug has been on dozens of tracks with Wall thanks to their natural chemistry and ability to exchange high-speed verses. Collaborations like “Still Tippin’” with Mike Jones and Wall’s solo track “Swangin in the Rain” featuring Thug showcase their elite lyricism and style.

Bun B

As one half of Texas legends UGK, Bun B’s distinctive flow has complemented Wall’s songs beautifully. The standout 2005 team-up “Trill” off The People’s Champ remains a Houston rap anthem.

Mike Jones

Jones and Paul Wall joined forces on plenty of tracks during their Swisha House days. Their biggest collaboration “Still Tippin’” also featuring Slim Thug off Jones’ 2005 album Who Is Mike Jones? peaked at #2 on Billboard’s Rap Songs chart.

By collaborating with fellow Houston rap heroes, Wall strengthened his regional legacy immensely. Their team-ups showcase the immense talent running deep in the city.

Touring and Live Performance History

As an established live performer, Paul Wall has rocked crowds across the United States and beyond for over 20 years. Early on, he gained performance experience touring Texas’ vibrant nightclub circuit alongside Chamillionaire.

After breaking through nationally, Wall and Chamillionaire joined rap mega-tours like 2004’s Fade to Black Tour featuring Jay-Z and Friends. Sharing stages with legends helped grow Wall’s profile outside Texas.

In 2005, Paul Wall headlined the 35-city Who is Mike Jones? Tour with Swisha House labelmates Mike Jones and Slim Thug which spread their Houston sound nationwide.

For his albums The People’s Champ (2005) and Get Money, Stay True (2007), Wall embarked on lengthy solo tours across North America to further promote his music. Venues ranged from intimate nightclubs to arenas holding over 5,000 people.

In recent years, Wall has focused more on one-off shows and festival performances instead of grueling full tours. But he remains a fixture and crowd-pleaser at Texas hip hop events like the annual South by Southwest (SXSW) conference in Austin.

With his nonstop energy and extensive catalog, Paul Wall continues blessing Houston rap fans with lively, hit-filled concerts preserving the city’s musical heritage.

Paul Wall’s Personal Life

While an open book through his lyrics, Paul Wall does keep some details on his personal life private. However, a few facts are known about the man behind the music:

  • He has been married to rapper and singer Crystal Slayton since 2005 and they have two children together.
  • Wall has three kids total – their son William born in 2005, daughter Noelle born in 2007, and son Wynter born in 2010.
  • By launching Grillz by Paul Wall, he monetized his love of customized jewelry into a successful business.
  • Wall has lived in Houston’s northside neighborhoods for his entire life.
  • He is an avid Houston sports fan, especially supporting the Astros and Rockets franchises.
  • Wall has stayed out of major controversy throughout his career by avoiding beefs and rap cliches.

With his focus on family and career longevity, Wall has cultivated the image of a humble, loyal family man first and foremost.

Estimated Net Worth and Career Earnings

Paul Wall has racked up healthy earnings from various business ventures over the past 20 years. Here is a breakdown of the rapper/entrepreneur’s estimated net worth:

Net Worth = $5 million

  • Music sales – Between album sales and streaming royalties, Wall has made millions from his recordings. His album The People’s Champ sold over 500,000 copies.
  • Touring – Headlining tours and one-off shows has generated steady income since the early 2000s.
  • Grillz business – Wall reportedly brings in $2-3 million per year just from designing and selling custom grills.
  • TV Jewelry store – Wall’s jewelry company in Houston has expanded into a nationwide player in bling.
  • Investments – Wise investments in both music and outside ventures have grown his wealth.

By diversifying his portfolio early on, Paul Wall constructed a sustainable career as both rapper and savvy entrepreneur. His continued hustle and business acumen should provide long-lasting financial security.

Lasting Legacy and Influence

Even after achieving so much, Paul Wall remains as hungry as ever nearly 20 years into his epic rap journey. He continues releasing quality music and expanding his business profile across Texas and beyond.

As an ambassador and elder statesmen of Houston hip hop, Wall’s legacy is already cemented. Classics like “They Don’t Know” and “Sittin’ Sidewayz” will be revisited forever as the soundtrack of Houston’s 2000s rap renaissance.

Beyond the music, Paul Wall is a people’s champ because he never forgot his humble roots. By avoiding industry temptation and staying true to his city, he provides a blueprint for success on one’s own terms. His longevity and integrity are a masterclass in sustainability for any aspiring artist.

While trends fade, authenticity never does. Paul Wall’s catalog will continue satisfying Southern rap fans young and old. By crafting his own lane, the Texas gem known as The People’s Champ has guaranteed he’ll always have a place in Houston’s rich musical history.