Last week, Paul Wall and his wife welcomed a healthy, 7-pound baby boy named William into the world. As is the case with most first-time fathers, the event caused him to re-evaluate his life a little bit. But if you think that the birth would slow him down, well, then you obviously don't know Paul Wall.
"Now that I got a son, it encourages me to work even harder. I'm motivated to be more successful, and so we're mashin' the gas and not slowin' down one bit," he laughed. "I've been working the whole time [my wife] Crystal was pregnant. I was on the road and in the studio. And she was with me. We didn't go to Lamaze classes or nothing like that. We worked in the studio together."
Since early September, Wall has juggled pre-natal care — "We went to about a million doctors appointments," he said — touring and promoting his platinum major-label debut, The Peoples Champ (see "Kanye West Falls To Peoples Champ Paul Wall"), with working on a brand-new album, which he's calling Get Money, Stay True.
"I've been getting into the studio every chance I get, working with [Swishahouse head honcho] T. Farris and [Houston producer] Mr. Lee. And like the title says, the album is all about getting money and fame, but also about staying true to where I came up," Wall said. "I've dealt with so many things I never had to deal with before — the success I've attained in the past year has been phenomenal, but I still want to remain Paul Wall. So we're not changing the script too much. The focus is still the same: the cars, the clothes, the ho's, the screw music."
Wall said the new album will be light on guest spots and that he already has four to five songs completed for it, including one that shouts out to his new son. "One line goes, 'I bought my son some new J's and he can't even walk/ Got his grill readymade and he can't even talk,' " Wall laughed. There's also a "gangster love song" that's in the same vein as his current single, "Girl" (see "Newlywed Paul Wall Grilling With 'Girls,' Wants To Chop And Screw Biggie").
"It's less sappy, less heartbroken. It's more about lovemakin'," Wall said. "The whole record is more grown up. The producers we've worked with have grown and so, naturally, I matured in lyrics too. It's the same thing but better. Like, the Rockets sucked this year, but next year [Tracy] McGrady's not gonna be hurt and they're gonna be nasty."
But a new son and a new album aren't the only things that have been keeping Wall busy as of late. He's also been kicking around the notion of expanding his empire — which, in addition to his music, also includes a grill-making business — into the world of fast food. There are plenty of franchising opportunities available, but Wall said he's narrowed his focus down to two potential restaurants: Subway or Chic-Fil-A.
"I'm really close to opening up a Subway in Houston, and I'm tryin' to get a Chic-Fil-A," Wall said. "I love Subway subs and I love those waffle fries from Chic-Fil-A, so I figured it'd be a good thing to branch out into. I'm gonna keep the stores the way they are, but you're gonna know it's my restaurant. If I want to do a concert at Subway and charge 10 bucks to get in, I'll do it, 'cause I'm the boss."
As long as he's willing to make a few sandwiches, he can do whatever he wants with his Subway franchise. That's according to a spokesperson for the chain, at least.
"As a franchisee, he will be the owner of a business, so he does have some leeway, but he does have to follow some rules," Les Winograd, a Subway publicist, told MTV News. "He has to serve the national menu, but he can definitely run some local promotions, and something like a concert could fall within that. Basically, we're looking for someone who is willing to get their hands in the tuna fish, to work behind the counter and to greet customers. He can't wear his jewelry if he's working behind the counter — it's a food-safety issue — but if he's greeting customers, he can wear anything within reason."