After memorable appearances on Mike Jones's breakout single "Still Tippin" and most recently on Kanye West's "Drive Slow," Paul Wall makes a big impression with his major label debut The People's Champ. It's a good album that will definitely help keep Houston on the hip-hop map.
The People's Champ is filled with guest appearances by a variety of mostly southern hip-hop stars. T. I., "The King Of The South," shows up on the organ-driven "So Many Diamonds" while BG and UGK's Bun B contribute verses to "Trill." Freeway makes a surprising (and gruff) appearance on "State To State" and on "They Don't Know," Wall and labelmate Mike Jones educate us on Houston, TX. "Sittin' Sidewayz," the first single from the album, features the laidback-sounding Big Pokey and a bumping electronic beat.
Some of the most interesting songs on the album are the ones where there are no guest stars to be found. "Internet Going Nutz" has Paul Wall looking for girls online, checking sites like Black Planet and Facebook. One of the best songs on the album is "Just Paul Wall" where he simply talks about his life and the struggles he's gone through from having a drug-addicted father who abandoned him to dealing with alcoholism.
With The People's Champ, Paul Wall enters the game strong and shows a lot of potential. After all, he did dethrone Kanye West from the top of the album charts with this release. Paul Wall comes off charismatic and likable on this album and while he doesn't break new ground, he doesn't mess up either. I think we'll be seeing a lot more of "The People's Champ" in the future.