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2 May, 2007@12:00 am

    As far as white boys go, there’s only a few out there that get the elusive “ghetto pass”. Sure, you’ve got Eminem and Justin Timberlake - two undeniable talents, and just like them, you’ve got to be good - or have some friends in the rock department, to get signed to a major label while being melanin deficient. Enter Paul Wall - member of the Swishahouse family, and one-time partner to both Chamillionaire and Mike Jones. Paul’s made his money not only from rap, but also his flourishing diamond business, which he runs locally in Texas. Suffice to say, Paul Wall is good, and is one of the few rap crackers out, getting respect (and success) in an industry dominated by Black artists.

   Get Money, Stay True is Wall’s second official album, and it more or less follows the same formula as his first. Produced almost entirely by Mr. Lee, Paul exercises his cooler-than-a-fan style, effortlessly floating over the tracks with humorous braggadocio and style for days. The album kicks off with “Get Your Paper Up”, a ceremonial southern anthem that celebrates Paul’s return to the game. This follows into the the hypnotic “Everybody Know Me”, which thunders with 808 bass, inviting you into Paul’s lifestyle, as Snoop Dogg joins in on the second half of the song. “Break ‘Em Off” is classic Swishahouse, with slowed down, heavy horns, and the trademark screwed up vocal sample for the hook.

   While Mr. Lee does his thing as a producer for the record, lending a completely unified sound, when other producers come in, the sound is evened out a little. Jermaine Dupri steals the show on “I’m Throwed”, which more-or-less follows the same formula as Nelly’s “Grillz”, and will probably achieve the same type of results. Another stand out is “Bangin’ Screw”, again following the screw music formula, produced by Aadict and Bizness, who lend a sound slightly different than Mr. Lee’s. But Lee isn’t afraid to switch things up when necessary, such on the Freeway featured “On The Grind”, which channels the classic Roc-A-Fella era.

   The last act of the album however, drowns in redundancy on songs like “I Ain’t Hard To Find”, “Gimmie That”, and awful collabo with Trina “That Fire”, which more or less force-feed the same subjects covered on the rest of the record (read: hustling). When Paul attempts to think outside the box a bit, such as on the horribly out of place crossover attempt, “Tonight” (feat. Jon B), featuring a string symphony (quite different from the thumping bass and screwed hooks on the rest of the LP). The Travis Barker produced “Slidin’ On That Oil”, also falls flat, thanks to the whispery rage of newcomer Expensive Taste, who struggles through his verses.

   Get Money Stay True is an official sequel to The People’s Champ, however doesn’t generate the same fresh new interest we all had in Paul with his debut. Still, if you couldn’t get enough of The People’s Champ, then you will definitely appreciate this record, but aside from Paul’s otherwise stylish delivery, this is more of the same.

  Mixtape D.L.
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