paul_wall_phixrSometimes, having success can lead to bad decision-making.

The particular person who inherited the newfound fame can either veer off, or stay the course and ride it out—and Houston’s Paul Wall is an individual who doesn’t believe in using his blinkers.

Gaining notoriety during the mid-2000’s, the man born as Paul Slayton has enjoyed a record sale tally of over 2 million all together, while doing his part to make sure that Hip-Hop is alive and well in the Lone Star State, alongside fellow Texas natives like Mike Jones [CLick for Mike Jones video interview], and Slim Thug [Click to read Slim Thug interview].

As he continues on the proverbial highway to success, he’s picked up another passenger that  comes in the form of his latest album Fast Life [Click for review], which was released in May of this year.

So will carpooling with his newest record, prevent him from having to stop in the breakdown lane? Only Hip-Hop’s most recognized grill man can sort that out for you…

iHipHop.com: You just recently released you newest album Fast Life [Click for review] , talk about it a little bit… What were you trying to accomplish with the project?

Paul Wall: I basically did a whole new line of collaborations, and new production. I worked with some artists I haven’t worked with before… I got a song with Webbie, Baby Bash, Yung Joc, Gorilla Zoe, Lil Keke, and Too $hort

So it’s a real well rounded album, and we took it to another level, especially with the lyrics. It’s a little more in-depth and a little more personal, but basically we just tried a few different things…

iHipHop.com: When you were putting those collaborations together, you weren’t worried about getting overshadowed?

Paul Wall: I think every album I do is like a compilation, because there are so many collabos… But some of the top-notch artists in the industry are definitely some of my favorite artists, so it’s an honor and a blessing to be able to work with them… So when you have an opportunity to work with people like that, and you come up with good music, why not use it?

The first album me and Chamillionaire [Click to read Chamillionaire interview] put out, we felt like we had a lot to prove to everybody, so we didn’t put any features on there, except for one… I didn’t really regret it at that time, but I told myself I wasn’t going to do that anymore, because I don’t feel like I have anything to prove like that… So if I have the chance to work with some top-notch artists, why not seize that opportunity?

iHipHop.com: How do you feel about your career up to this point? Do you feel as if you get the recognition you deserve?

Paul Wall: I don’t feel as if I have something to prove, right now I’m just having fun with it… I’m making music that I love, and I’m having a hell of a time doing it… I’ve had some really good experiences in the studio, and I’m having a lot of fun… I don’t feel like I have anything to prove…

No matter who you are, you always want more recognition, but I’m grateful for what I do have, and I feel like I’ve earned it… So I’m going to continue to put in that hard work, and build relationships with people, and continue to grow as an artist… So hopefully from that, I’ll be able to get more recognition…

paul-1iHipHop.com: With artists not selling records like they used to, do you ever worry about first week sales?

Paul Wall: It seems like that’s all everybody is ever worried about, is first week sales… But for me, I’m always worried about what the record will be selling 20 weeks from now, and a lot further down the line…

It seems like in Hip-Hop, it’s all about first week sales, but if you look ay country artists, pop artists, and rock artists, they go out and grind it out by going on tour, and they promote one album for a couple of years…

You’ll have an album in the top ten on the Billboard Charts for months; you know what I’m saying? That’s what I plan on doing, and I’m not worried about first week sales… So for me, we’re going to continue to grind, and hopefully we get the sales week-by-week…

But I was blessed to have the last two albums I put out to be number one on the Billboard Charts, but my goal is to put out good music, please my fans, and go out there and grind it out…

iHipHop.com: How do you think you’ve grown as an artist from album one to now album four?

Paul Wall: I’ve learned to have a lot of fun with it… I take it serious; as in I go to work… Like when I go to the studio, I’m going to work… But when it comes to the recording process and creative process, I feel like we can’t go wrong…

We made about 50-60 songs, and we sat down and picked out the best ones… I just really learned how to open myself up, and open my mind up… You can’t be a know-it-all… Some artists just go in, and think they know everything…

iHipHop.com: Speaking of that, with this being your fourth album in, has the creative process of putting records together gotten easier or harder?

Paul Wall: I think it’s gotten easier for me, just because I know what to do now… You have to go in there and do it, and just try something… Whereas before, I was putting a lot of pressure on myself, and every verse and hook had to be “it.”

So that’s what I do now… I’ll listen to the track, and if I like it, I’ll sit down and write something, and we’ll come up with an idea… If it doesn’t sound right, I’ll redo it, and sometimes I might record a song three times until it sounds right… So it’s gotten easier in that sense, because I feel as if I have the blueprint now…

paul_wall41iHipHop.com: What would you say has been one of the toughest parts of the music industry for you so far?

Paul Wall: It just seems like the music industry revolves around hype, it don’t seem like it revolves around music anymore… I’ve built my career around making good music, building relationships up, and going out there to put in real work…

I’ve never tried to build hype, or use a gimmick, or anything like that… If I did, I’d probably have way more record sales, but for me to have longevity, I feel like I have to put out good music…

iHipHop.com: With so many artists coming out on a regular basis, do you ever feel like it’s a struggle to keep your name in circulation?

Paul Wall: I think it is, but you have to know how to differentiate yourself… When you hear me on a song, you know it’s me… Sometimes you’ll hear an artist on a song, and you’ll know it’s them, and that will make you want to turn the channel, and hopefully that ain’t me… [Laughing]

You just have to keep an open mind, because sometimes a new artist might come out, and he might not be your style, but he might be part of the new style. So if you close the door on him, you’re going to end up closing the door on yourself, instead of opening yourself up to a whole new audience…

When we were coming out with our style, the older generation didn’t like it because they were from the older generation, and we were the new style… You see artists like LL Cool J and Snoop [Dogg], and it seems like they’ve been in the game forever… Snoop [Dogg] came out in ’92-’93 and he’s going on 17 years…

You see rock artists like ZZ Top, and they’re damn near 70 still going on tour, and I don’t see why rappers can’t do the same thing… I want to be on tour at 70 too, I love music… So hopefully I’ll be able to do this for another 50 years…