Artists Under Quarantine: Paul Wall

I think humanity as a whole had a sense of invincibility. Especially youth.

by David Icke Turner

Photo courtesy of Chad Wadsworth

The Coronavirus quickly made its way Into the ranks of Houston hip-hop infecting both Slim Thug and Geto Boy’s founder Scarface. The hip/hop artists of this region make up a tightly woven ecosystem of rappers young and old; some hailing from the hallowed DJ Screw era experimentation through the contemporary scene of stars Megan Thee Stallion and Travis Scott.  Front and center for all these evolutions has been Paul Wall; affectionately regarded in his hometown as ‘The Peoples Champ’. Testset had the pleasure of speaking with Wall about the quarantine, travel plans, and his predictions on what happens next.

What are you doing to pass the time ?

I’ve mostly been watching Netflix and recording music. I’ve been quarantined at my studio. It’s in a house that I bought a while back and converted to a studio. It’s like my own personal space to record and chill. Like a man cave I guess, but something that I own and upgraded, that I will pass on to my kids one day. Maybe it will be a museum since this is where I do all my recording. 

Is there any place other than H-Town you’d rather be during this quarantine ?

Yeah for sure, on an island somewhere enjoying the breeze and listening to the sound of the waves crashing in the background. Definitely some place where weed is legal and good quality. But being with my family is definitely most important and I have that, so not much to complain about

This seems to be a fundamental shift in humanity. What’re you hoping for ?

I think humanity as a whole had a sense of invincibility. Especially youth. I remember when I was younger I felt invincible. Even through several close encounters with death I always felt invincible. It wasn’t until I had children of my own that I started measuring every step I took to gauge how it would affect my children, not just my own personal wellbeing.

And that’s when I realized how vulnerable I was. I think now that humanity realizes how vulnerable we are as a whole, hopefully we will be more cautious. However, I don’t want to lose the sense of closeness and affection that we as humans feel when we’re around other humans. The isolation definitely brings a feeling of frustration and angst. It’s like watching a church service on TV is very inspirational, but you lose that sense of community.

This also shined a big light on the health disparities for minorities. Hopefully this will bring some type of change to that. 

What’re the fundamental values that bubble to the surface for someone like you in this critical time ?

Each one of us has to stop and really take accountability for what’s important to you. To me, family is most important. This has been a great time to bond with my children. Hopefully I’m not getting on their nerves too much. Also I’m reminded daily of how blessed I am to have a partner in my wife. So we are not alone. But this just reminds me of all the many people out there that are alone. Who do they have? 

What kind of party can we expect when the smoke clears ?

Definitely a smoking kind of party. So many of us have had negative experiences with people who we trusted and had love for, and then we’re betrayed or sold out. So there are several of us in society who have antisocial sentiments already. Some of those feelings are starting to fade away as we are forced in isolation longer and longer. So I definitely am one who normally wouldn’t go out to events. I am more of a homebody, or someone who only goes to specific places with my specific friends. I’m kind of anticipating going out in public and trying new things that I normally wouldn’t do. I don’t know how long it will last, but for now I’m pretty excited to experience life socially when this is over. My wife and I are already planning trips to Jamaica, Rome, Nigeria.

Tell us your wishes for Houston during this troubled time.

Dear Houston, stay home. Stay safe. See you soon. We will be swangin’ in the rain soon enough. Don’t worry, the Be Someone sign will return to its glory. Johnny Dang will be open and making grillz like George Foreman just had a blowout sale. Trae Day will return and have every rapper and comedian in the country on site.

Travis Scott will bring back “Astroworld” and the rage will continue. Slim Thug will ‘Shake’ the corona and reverse his vasectomy, to impregnate a few more lucky ladies. Mattress Mack will have the world’s BIGGEST sale on Sealy Posturepedic mattresses, all guaranteed to be delivered tonight.

Megan Thee Stallion will start a girl group with Lizzo and Normani (I wonder what they would be called?). Bun B will finally run for political office.

The Astros will be back in the World Series soooooon enough, with a debut release of Alex Bregman’s mixtape (he really got bars).

Somehow Roger Goodell will reverse the DeAndre Hopkins trade, and we trade Bill O’Brien instead. University of Houston will be back in the Top Ten.

Tobe Nwigwe’s gonna finally get Chamillionaire on the remix to “Juice.”

And when it’s allllllll over, I predict Beyoncé moves back to Houston, along with Jay Z, and they instate a charter school for the arts, free of charge, for Houston area youth.

Until then, please stay home. Houston, I love you big bro, smoke one/sip one soon enough. Rip DJ Screw.

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