Paul Wall

Fast Life

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Having launched his career with truck rumbling weekend numbers, Paul Wall learns on his third album that growing old gracefully is hard to do, especially when you're considered more a party starter than a wordsmith. Fast Life opens and closes with two epic and reflective numbers that are admirable enough, but they don't seem nearly as genuine as "Daddy Wasn't Home," the moving story of Wall's broken family and the one time the rapper's execution is right in step with his ambition. The drastic transition to the following bit of debauchery, "Pop One of These" with Too Short, points out the album's difficulty in blending Wall's good and bad sides, but the real problem here is with the plentiful B-plus material, which has no grand anchor of SwishaHouse perfection like "Sittin' Sidewayz" or "Break Em' Off" do. While the infectious "Lemon Drop" with Baby Bash would be better suited for Fergie, the tough "Bizzy Body" is close to being top shelf and ends up the "street" highlight of the album. Guest Z-Ro's cool tone is perfect for the ultra smooth "One Hundred," and there's little doubt "Got to Get It" will satisfy longtime Wall fans thanks to the gigantic bass production from producers Beanz & Kornbread. Even without the epic single, it is interesting to hear Wall's perspective shifting and his horizons expanding.

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