Paul Wall is something like an anomaly. His foray into the mainstream garnered him the attention of masses, but not any of the criticism that’s leveled upon most White MC’s not named Marshall. The last effort from him went platinum and now Mr. Slayton is looking to double his dollars with his latest entitled, 'Get Money, Stay True'.
Staying true to his mantra, Wall constructs a 14 track anthem dedicated to that purple drank, the Houston lifestyle, women and money. The expensive taste is elaborated on the first single, “Break ‘Em Off,” produced by Mr. Lee. In fact, Mr. Lee has his hand deep in the album, cooking up eight of the beats on the album. His distinctive H-Town sound, which utilizes the screwed up chorus and pounding bass lines, adds to increasing Paul’s appeal on the disc. Even when you interject an almost scene-stealing, Lil’ Keke, on the album’s single cut, you won’t even be mad because Wall’s rag-to-riches appeal doesn’t come off as trite.
On “I’m Throwed,” Jermaine Dupri infused the A-Town’s bounce with Houston’s pounding drums. Coupled with syncopated handclaps and sharp snares, Paul Wall talks about his favorite drank with Dupri playing hook-man. The Ice Man crafts a club banger without it truly being such. But the material excess goes into overdrive in a bad way on the song, “Call Me What U Want.” The lyrics are common and uninspiring to the listener. Although, it shouldn’t be surprising that the song lives up to the album title’s theme, it drags on too long. In fact, an example of where the meaning of 'Get Money, Stay True' works is on the joint, “Everybody Know Me.” Featuring a very lively Snoop Dogg, it’s the LBC legend who drops a show-stopping verse:
I’m the only rapper known by your grandmother,
And your preacher, and your teacher, ain’t that a trip?!
Moshe, moshe, ackanagu – ain’t that a bitch?!
That’s Japanese, lil’ homie, you should learn to mingle,
See Snoop Dogg is international… and bilingual...
The album’s melodic and soulfulness turns into a family thing as wife, Crys Wall appears with Freeway on “On The Grind.” The collaboration works as Mr. Lee injects a harmonious chime that blends in perfectly as Crys Wall’s voice silhouettes the track. A beat change halfway through gives Freeway a grand opportunity to go off on the track. But the album isn’t full of moments like that. “Bangin’ Screw,” produced by Russel “Addict” Howard, utilizes a quirky loop that sounds like it was pulled off of Fruity Loops. The drum pattern also does nothing to enhance the song. With the beat on D.O.A., Paul Wall tries his best to make it into something worth listening to, but it’s obviously a skippable track.
But where Paul may lack with subject matter, he makes up for in earnest. On, “Tonight,” featuring Jon B, Wall throws away the hood attire and sets the mood for the ladies on this laid-back R&B/Rap hybrid. With piano keys stroking the G-Spot, the ladies are not disrespected on this track. Insane, ain’t it? But if you think that marriage has made Paul Wall soft, then all you have to do is listen to “That Fire” and “I’m Real, What Are You?” On “That Fire,” Mr. Money tries to see if his flame burns harder than Ms. Trina. They two throw sexual innuendos over another Mr. Lee production. The track reeks of synth-sex and the duo constantly tries to one-up the other making for a very entertaining track. And with “I’m Real, What Are You?” KLC bridges the gap between Harlem and H-Town giving Paul Wall and guest, Juelz Santana, a beat where they can both go off without having to change up their respective styles too much.
All in all, Paul Wall’s second offering of jewels, women and tough talk is oft-times repetitive, but still entertaining. Wall manages to pull a few surprising appearances and even still stands out. Fueled by his two club bangers, the Houston MC has a solid second album that deserves to get money.