Personnel: Paul Wall (rap vocals); Freeway, Kanye West, Mike Jones , T.I., Three 6 Mafia, Big Pokey, Trey Songz, Bun B (rap vocals); Corey "Funky Fyngas" Stoot (guitar).
Audio Mixers: Sanchez "RockHead" Holmes; KLC; Michael Foster.
Photographer: Mike Frost .
Houston's place on the hip-hop map was beginning to gain focus by the mid 2000s, and rapper Paul Wall--of iced out grill fame--was at the forefront of that effort. His 2005 release THE PEOPLE'S CHAMP (released concurrently with a Chopped and Screwed remix version), finds its home in the beats and party themes that typify the Dirty South style, with plenty of woozy tempos, brain-bending samples, and rapid-fire raps drawled smooth and easy.
The album's first single, "Sittin' Sidewayz," is a case in point, with Salih Williams's top-notch production providing the perfect context for Wall's skills on the mic. The high production values don't dilute any of the album's swagger, however, making THE PEOPLE'S CHAMP the perfect match for a boomin' system in the trunk of one of the city's famed "draped-up and dripped-out" rides .
Rolling Stone (No. 984, p.152) - 3.5 stars out of 5 - "...THE PEOPLE'S CHAMP is a quality optin for both sizzurp obsessives and casual fans."
Spin (pp.135-136) - "His track with Kanye West, 'Drive Slow,' will rule the radio, but 'State to State' runs the album, with Freeway rubbing Paul's loping brogue with his own sped-up spit." - Grade: A-