Whitney Reid
staff writer
September 30, 2005
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The Peoples Champ The Peoples Champ
September 20, 2005
Atlantic / Wea
The People's Champ The People's Champ
September 13, 2005
Atlantic / Wea
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Rock Music Reviews
Paul Wall
The People's Champ

I must say that I'm disappointed. I had high hopes for this album. I've been following Paul Wall since Mike Jones' "Still Tippin'" dropped. Pretty much everything he's been on has been hot. His distinctive voice and insect references made for surprisingly great collabos with everyone from Papoose to Jim Jones.

The first thing I noticed wrong with The People's Champ was the production. It's below par, much like everything else that's been coming out of Houston this year. Not only that, but Paul's wordplay begins to wear thin a little before half-way through the album. There are a few nice punchlines here and there, but by and far, it sounds like the same lyrics rapped over and over again on different beats.

I have to admit that I've been caught up in all of the hype of the Houston scene this year. I'm beginning to lose interest though, and I'm sure the rest of you aren't far behind me. Not to take away from their shine at all, but I really think that the only reason this stuff has been so popular is because, as far as the mainstream goes, it's the only consistently good stuff that's been coming out.

State Property's Freeway appears on "State to State". It never fails to amaze me just how many connections Paul Wall has. NYC cats seem to love him. I'm by far most impressed with his collabo with Papoose. I really wonder how these guys in the rap industry meet each other. Last year Paul Wall and Papoose were both relative unknowns and this year their doing a song together. Freeway just gets added to the long list of East Coast rappers that Wall has worked with.

The breakout of the album is the Bun B and BG assisted "Trill". Bun B seems to have a Midas touch with every track he graces. He has his own album coming out soon, and I really hope he lives up to what he's built up for himself on other people's songs. If you're unsure what the word 'trill' means, listen to the song and you'll be lost no more.

The album isn't bad; it's average. But for what I expected from Paul Wall, that's bad to me. If I had never heard of him before, I might even like this album better. But when you spit serious fire on mixtapes and guest spots, you've really got to come with it when it comes to your own album. He's had the internet goin' nuts, but his session with me has timed out.

Release date: September 20, 2005
Label: Atlantic / Wea
Rating: 6.6 / 10

[RMR]