Shiny cars, protruding rims (some of which are on “poke”) and sound systems with 100 percent bass reaching up to 50 feet range. These are the fine details of a slab, which for Paul Wall is "my car of choice." Slab culture is big in Houston, where the rapper has been riding in candy-painted cars for his entire life. With his latest album, Slab God, he has dedicated an entire soundtrack dedicated to riding clean.
Since he stepped on the scene in 2004, the People’s Champ has been holding it down for his city. He scored a label deal with Swishahouse and Atlantic Records early on and became the king of grills with the help of his business partner and jeweler “TV” Johnny Dang. Now he's releasing music on the independent route and is known as the "slab god" within his own car club. When he dropped his new album in October, we chopped it up with the Grammy-nominated rhymer to go deeper than rap and find out how he evolved into the man that knows everything about slabs.
The Houston car culture deeply rooted in redesigning and essentially souping up American-made vehicles is something Wall has been doing for more than a decade. He has bought, sold and given away countless slabs, but only one is his all-time favorite: the Cadillac. For Wall, being a slab god goes beyond the ride; it's about your character, your clothes, your business savvy and more. If you want to be a Slab God or think you're already at the top of the game, keep reading. Here are 10 Signs You're a Slab God According to Paul Wall.
“Well, to be a slab god you’ve got to have multiple slabs -- you can’t just have one car. If this is your first time having slabs, or you went out, got a record deal and bought a slab, you’re not a slab god. If you just got drafted to the NBA and bought a slab, you are not a god. You are slab ridin’, you’re holding. To be a slab god, you have to have multiple generations of slabs throughout the years.”
"The wheels you must have are called Texan Wire Wheels. Some of them come dipped in gold, different sizes and variations. You also have to have Vogue Tyres, they are white wall with the gold stripes. ‘The mayo and the mustard,’ like E-40 say. If you don’t have those then it’s not a slab, hands down."
"Typically has to be a lot of bass in the trunk. But whatever you are jammin’ it could be new or whatever, but if you are in a slab it needs to be screwed.That makes the slab complete."
“With the Texan Wire Wheels Swangas [his slab car club] you get a lot of responses. Sometimes it will be a thumbs up or you may get somebody shaking their head because they don’t like us. A lot of times when you are riding in a slab, people get intimidated by the wheels. They may ride slow or peel off 'cause they’re nervous, even if you’re staying in your lane. But when you riding in your slab, you gotta hold ya nuts and just ride. If you are worried about your rims poking out then you are not going to do it right it.”
Every God Needs His Queen
“Slab gods attract all different types of women. A lot of slab gods, their ladies are slab riders too. If my girl is riding, I want her coming down clean. She’s not the trap queen, but my slab queen. I might put more money in my woman’s car then my own car. 'Cause I want her to s--- on everyone too. There are several his and hers slabs. Some are even just single women coming down. Girls like nice things too.”
"A lot of us gotta step out as clean as our cars. But a lot of us, we ride our slabs every day. If I am wearing flip-flops and shorts then that's what I am in. But when you coming down you want to have some fly gear to match. When the new Cadillac drops, I will be ready. I already got my Louis loafers, they are suede, [they are red to match]. I got these red leather shorts."
“You definitely have to have the go-getter mentality. Things break down all the time. You might ride it rough and need to fix something, or you may blow an amp. I mean, I had my car painted three times already. I don’t mind getting it painted over 'cause it comes back wetter every time. I painted several of my cars over and over. To do all that you have to have a hustle to match, because that is one hell of a baller bill. You have to pay for the up-keep. It’s not a one time price. It’s an investment.”
“Houston has been known for embracing Jordans. But we are also like once every one get on it we don’t want to do it anymore. You still have people who wear them. But me personally you are going to catch me riding in slippers. If I am holding my nuts while I am riding, I want to be comfortable. But lately I have been wearing Slim Thug’s Boss Life Shoes. They are really comfortable, Italian-made leather.”
Kids Get in on the Action
“Slabs can be family cars. Sometimes I drop my kids off to school in mine. There are a couple of other parents at the school who have slabs too. It’s only a few, a selected elite and we chuck the deuces and honk the horn. The other parents are all in their mini vans and stuff. So it's just different.”
"It’s just an underground culture. It’s a chosen few. It ain’t for everybody."
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