Paul Wall

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Paul Wall
Slayton in June 2005
Slayton in June 2005
Background information
Birth namePaul Michael Slayton[1]
Born (1981-03-11) March 11, 1981 (age 39)[1]
Houston, Texas, U.S.
GenresHip hop
  • Rapper
  • songwriter
  • actor
  • disc jockey
Years active1998–present
Associated acts

Paul Michael Slayton (born March 11, 1981), better known by his stage name Paul Wall, is an American rapper, actor, and DJ. He has spent much of his career affiliated with Swishahouse Records, and has released several albums under the label and collaborated with numerous other rappers signed to the label. He began his career performing alongside Chamillionaire with whom he released several albums, including 2002's independently released Get Ya Mind Correct, which went on to sell over 350,000 copies despite no major label distribution. In 2005, he was signed to Atlantic Records and became successful with his major label debut The Peoples Champ. Get Money, Stay True followed in 2007.[2] He has been nominated for one Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance as a Duo or Group for the song "Grillz", his 2007 collaboration with rapper Nelly.


Swishahouse (1998–2005)[edit]

Wall attended Jersey Village High School and studied mass communications at the University of Houston for three years.[3][4] After proposing to do promotions for Michael "5000" Watts' company Swishahouse, Chamillionaire and Paul Wall came to KBXX, Watts' studio.[5] Paul and Chamillionaire convinced Watts to let them rap on his radio show and put the verses on one of his mixtapes. That mixtape was titled Choppin Em Up Part 2, which was released in mid-1999. The freestyle became so popular locally that Chamillionaire and Paul Wall became regular staples on Houston's mixtape circuit, appeared on several of Watts' mixtapes and became permanent members of Swishahouse.

After fellow member Slim Thug left the label, Chamillionaire and Paul Wall followed suit and the two started their own group known as The Color Changin' Click (named after Chamillionaire's chameleon persona). Each successive mixtape released by The Color Changin' Click led to more business opportunities; the most notable of which was a contract to do a full album for Paid in Full Records. A one-album contract was negotiated between the Color Changin' Click and Paid in Full's label head, DJ Madd Hatta from 97.9 The Box, and the CCC's first album, Get Ya Mind Correct, would go on to sell over 200,000 copies. Wall's first music exposure came as a street team member on the Northwest side of Houston, promoting southern labels like Def Jam Records, Cash Money and No Limit Records. He is an accomplished and proficient mixtape and party DJ, known for producing mixtapes in the now well-known screwed & chopped style, which was invented by DJ Screw.[6]

Paul Wall and Chamillionaire were originally affiliated with Swishahouse Records, but left for Paid in Full Records a short time later. After several mixtape and independent releases including Get Ya Mind Correct, the two parted ways, citing creative differences. Chamillionaire continued to release independent records, while Paul Wall returned to the Swishahouse fold. This move allowed him to appear on Mike Jones' first commercially distributed single, "Still Tippin'", from his first major label album Who Is Mike Jones?. The single is originally on Swishahouse's The Day Hell Broke Loose Part 2 aka Major Without A Major Deal, released in 2003, the album went on to sell over 500,000 copies two months after being released.

Solo success (2005–2007)[edit]

"Paul Wall, wearing grills, poses for a picture with a smiling fan, also clad in grills."
Paul Wall shows off his grills with a smiling fan in Baghdad, 2007.

In 2005, Paul Wall released his first album, The Peoples Champ, which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. The first single was "Sittin' Sidewayz" featuring Big Pokey. The second single, "They Don't Know", featured Bun B of UGK, and the video version, also featured Mike Jones. The third single, "Girl", received radio airplay and peaked at number 35 on the Billboard Hot 100.[7] In 2007, Wall released his second album Get Money, Stay True, which debuted in the number one spot on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. The album spawned the singles "Break 'Em Off" featuring Lil Keke and "I'm Throwed" featuring and produced by Jermaine Dupri.

Paul Wall was a member of the rap group Expensive Taste, with his friends Travis Barker and Skinhead Rob (Transplants).[8]

In 2007, Paul Wall appeared alongside other celebrities in the music video for "Rockstar" by Nickelback. He appeared on reggae artist Collie Buddz's self-titled debut album.[9]

Other projects and newer releases (2008–present)[edit]

Paul Wall performing in Baghdad, 2007.

In the spring of 2008, Paul Wall joined Strange Music recording artist Tech N9ne on a nationwide tour, which featured rapper Ill Bill.

In the 2008 presidential campaign, Paul Wall spoke out in favor of candidate Barack Obama. He was quoted in The Source magazine as saying "Barack seems to come off as a true leader for everyone, whereas most people campaigning, including Hillary Clinton, seem to be just politicians. Barack seems to be genuine and sincere about his beliefs. He is selfless, while they are selfish. I'm gonna 'Barack the vote' this year and I've never voted before."[10]

Paul Wall appears as fictional rapper Grillionaire in the movie I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell, released on September 25, 2009. He, along with screenwriters Nils Parker and Tucker Max, co-wrote tracks for the movie.

In 2010, Paul Wall featured on the album Przyjaźń, Duma, Godność, (English: Friendship, Pride, Dignity) by Polish rap artist Kaczor.

In October 2011, Paul Wall collaborated with Silicon Valley-based social and mobile game company Jump Shot Media to create the world's first mobile battle rap game, Battle Rap Stars. Paul is featured as the "main event" and is the rapper to beat in order to win the game.[11] On March 7, 2012 Paul Wall released a mixtape entitled No Sleep Til Houston.[12] Paul Wall released a collaboration mixtape with Slim Thug for the 2013 NBA All-Star Game in Houston.[13]

On December 10, 2013, Paul Wall released his seventh studio album, an 11-track offering, titled CheckSeason, which featured contributions from Stunna Bam, Killa Kyleon, Slim Thug, Lil Keke, Kid Ink and Young Dolph. The record was released independently via his Paul Wall Music imprint.[14]

Paul Wall followed up Check Season on December 2, 2014 with the release of his seventh studio album, titled The Po-Up Poet which was produced by June "The Jenius" James. According to a Vibe magazine article in November 2014, "The almost circus-like production reestablishes the idea that as long as Wall's been in the game, he's been a beloved Texas rap legend".[15][16]

On September 25, 2015, Paul Wall followed up The Po-Up Poet with his eight studio album, titled SlabGod which contains the single "Swangin' In The Rain". On March 11, 2016, Wall released a remix of "Swangin' In The Rain" which features Slim Thug, Lil' Keke, J-Dawg, Z-Ro, and Chamillionaire. On October 21, 2016, he followed up SlabGod with his ninth album, titled Houston Oiler, released in October 2016. In February 2017, he released the mixtape Diamond Boyz with rapper C Stone. His tenth album Bounce Back Over Setbacks was released on January 19, 2018. His eleventh album, Mind Over Matter followed in March 2020. On June 5, 2020, Wall released a mixtape with Lil Keke, titled Slab Talk.

Acting career[edit]

During his break from rapping, Paul Wall appeared in Furnace with Ja Rule. He appeared in the 2009 film I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell along with Jesse Bradford and Matt Czuchry. He was in the 2010 science fiction film Xtinction: Predator X.[17] In 2014 he starred in Isaac Yowman's independently released theatrical film "The Holy Spoof" which sold out in all of its theater showings before its digital stream release online.[18]

Personal life[edit]

Paul Wall is married and has two children.[19][20] In 2010, he went on an extreme diet and had gastric sleeve surgery,[21] resulting in an over 100 lb. weight loss.[22]


Studio albums
Collaboration albums


Year Title Role
2006 Furnace Joey Robbins
2009 I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell Grillionaire
2010 Ghetto Stories Prison Inmate
2010 Alligator X Froggy
2011 Cash or Crash

Video games[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Ozone Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2006 Paul Wall Taste Maker (style and trendsetter) Won
"I'm N Luv (Wit a Stripper)" (Remix) Best Rap/R&B Collaboration Won
"Holla at Me" Best Rap Collaboration Won

Grammy Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2007 "Grillz" Best Rap Performance as a Duo or Group Nominated


  1. ^ a b "Texas Birth Index, 1903-1997". "FamilySearch".
  2. ^ "Paul Wall Biography". Atlantic Records. Archived from the original on 2008-11-22. Retrieved 2008-03-11.
  3. ^ Dansby, Andrew (May 8, 2009). "Rapper Paul Wall is all smiles". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved December 13, 2010.
  4. ^ "Paul Wall...the people's champ". Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved December 13, 2010.
  5. ^ "Paul Wall World – Interview". Retrieved 2014-02-11.
  6. ^ "Paul Wall | New Music Release | Rapindustry.Com Promotion". Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2014-02-11.
  7. ^ "The Peoples Chump" Charts & Awards – Singles. Allmusic: 2006
  8. ^ Rodriguez, Jayson (2007-02-16). "Travis Barker Gets Down With Paul Wall, Juelz Santana While Arm Heals". MTV News. Retrieved 2008-03-11.
  9. ^ Watson, Margeaux (2007-07-06). "Collie Budz". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2008-03-11.
  10. ^ The Source magazine, August 2008 issue
  11. ^ "Paul Wall Featured in Mobile Battle Rap Game". October 31, 2011.
  12. ^ "Paul Wall - No Sleep Til Houston Hosted by DJ Drama // Free Mixtape @". 2012-03-26. Retrieved 2012-03-31.
  13. ^ "Slim Thug "Welcome 2 Texas Vol. 3"". Retrieved 2013-12-10.
  14. ^ "Stream Paul Wall's "#CheckSeason" LP In Its Entirety". 2013-12-10. Retrieved 2014-02-11.
  15. ^ "Paul Wall Kindly Asks For 'No Favors'". Vibe.
  16. ^ Rose Lilah (2 December 2014). "Paul Wall Releases Stream For New Album "The Po-Up Poet"". HotNewHipHop.
  17. ^ Xtinction (2010),
  18. ^ "Hot Trailer: Paul Wall in The Holy Spoof". Retrieved 2017-12-08.
  19. ^ Black Celebrity Kids, babies, and their Parents » RAPPER PAUL WALL TALKS ABOUT BEING A DADDY Archived 2010-08-08 at the Wayback Machine. Blackcelebkids.Com (2006-04-18). Retrieved on 2011-01-05.
  20. ^ "Paul Wall Gives Happy Home Tips! Top 7 Family Keepers!". 2010-06-20. Retrieved 2014-02-11.
  21. ^ "Paul Wall's Dramatic Weight Loss! Life Changing Surgery; How He Did It!". July 13, 2010.
  22. ^ "Paul Wall and Wife Crystal Go Gangsta! Hot Pics!". February 13, 2011.
  23. ^ "iTunes - Music - Chick Magnet by Paul Wall". iTunes. Retrieved 2016-10-30.
  24. ^ "iTunes - Music - Po Up Poet by Paul Wall". iTunes. Retrieved 2016-10-30.
  25. ^ "iTunes - Music - slab god by Paul Wall". iTunes. Retrieved 2016-10-30.
  26. ^ "iTunes - Music - Houston Oiler by Paul Wall". iTunes. Retrieved 2016-10-30.
  27. ^ "iTunes - Music - Bounce Backs over Setbacks by Paul Wall". iTunes. Retrieved 2018-01-19.
  28. ^ "iTunes - Music - Mind over Matter by Paul Wall". iTunes. Retrieved 2020-03-20.
  29. ^ "iTunes - Music - Subculture by Paul Wall". iTunes. Retrieved 2020-10-02.
  30. ^ "iTunes - Music - The Legalizers: Legalize or Die, Vol. 1 by Paul Wall & Baby Bash". iTunes. Retrieved 2016-10-30.
  31. ^ "iTunes - Music - Diamond Boyz by Paul Wall & C Stone". iTunes. Retrieved 2017-02-03.
  32. ^ "iTunes - Music - The Legalizers, Vol. 2: Indoor Grow by Paul Wall & Baby Bash". iTunes. Retrieved 2020-10-31.
  33. ^ "Statik Selektah & Paul Wall Announce Joint EP". Retrieved 2019-11-22.
  34. ^ "iTunes - Music - Slab Talk by Paul Wall & Lil' Keke". iTunes. Retrieved 2020-06-05.

External links[edit]