Even before Houston legend Paul Wall passed the torch to emerging Texas rapper Yung Pooda for his “Forever Tippin” single, Southern Hip Hop pioneers such as Bun B and Pimp C gave Pooda the blueprint of a standard to reach toward.
Growing up in Orange, a town a little over one hundred miles outside of Houston, Yung Pooda always knew he would have to transcend his surroundings to make his dreams come true.
While learning how to rap by recording mixtapes under his father’s guidance at his home studio, Pooda quickly became aware of how artists from small towns like his made the jump to larger markets and began studying the transition in order to follow the same path.
“Orange, Texas is a real small community,” Yung Pooda said. “There is really zero to no opportunity. And Houston is the next city over is not far from Orange at all. So I just kind of followed in the footsteps of UGK, I like to tell people, because you know, Bun B and Pimp C is originally from Port Arthur. Which is about five, 10 minutes from Orange. So I’m like, ‘If they can do it, I know I can do it.’ And I just wanted a big opportunity. I wanted more opportunities than what I was getting, so I made a decision to leave my home city to go to Houston. I was in Houston for a long time.”
Bouncing back and forth between the urban neighborhoods of Greens Point, and Prarie View, Yung Pooda says he bought into the idea of making his way outside of the streets by creating a legit and profitable hustle from the streets.
“That’s what motivated me — hearing Pimp C, UGK, Slim Thug making a hundred thousand out their trunk,” he said. “Or DJ Screw had so many people outside of his house that the FBI had to come, but he was only selling tapes. You know what I’m saying? When you hear stories like that and you know, ‘Okay, this is real,’ All you got to do is have enough consciousness, enough energy to get off your ass and want to do it. So I tried to hit every avenue that I could to get my name out. ‘Well, I got to press out CDs. Let me press out CDs. Give out shirts, drop freestyle videos. Let me think, what else can I do? What else can I do?’ Because there’s not no one way to do it, and it’s not easy. It’s not easy. And I know I want it longevity too. So just knowing that. And I wrote down everything that I wanted to do in a notepad.”
Finally, in 2018 after countless releases, local radio showcases and opening performances for artists such as Boosie Badazz, Yung Pooda got his shot at collaborating with a childhood hero when he joined forces with Paul Wall for his “Beat Up The Block” single.
“You started by just listening to these guys and seeing them on TV, now I’m getting game from them,” Yung Pooda said. “So that was real big for me. That’s something that I will forever cherish. He definitely told me to stay in my head, stay in my business and make sure the ones around me or really with me. He dropped a lot of gems and gave me a lot of knowledge. We talked for about an hour after we did the song in the studio, just chopping it up. But that was something.”
Pooda continued, recalling how starstruck he was when Paul Wall pulled up to the parking lot of the studio even though the pair had met previously, and detailed how the encounter inspired him to go harder and seize his opportunity to shine.
“Yeah. Right when he walked in, well, actually he was sitting in the car when I pulled up, he was sitting in the car, he was writing his verse,” he said. “I Spoke to him. He’s like, ‘I’m going to come in and chop it up with you.’ So I came in and I let them hear the track. I let them hear my verse. And he was like, ‘Yeah, bro, this is hard,’ So I’m like, ‘Paul Wall like my track.’ That’s big for me and my city too, because like I say bro, we grew up listening to him. Now here I am working with somebody I looked up to and been listening to. My pops then, ‘Yo, check this out, listen to this, listen to this.’ And older crowds, now I’m working with him. So I’m like, ‘Yeah, this is real. This is real.’ And then the conversation we had, it just let me know no more, that it could actually happen if I just really take this serious.”
???Yung Pooda ft. Paul Wall – Beat Up The Block ???. #KOMINSOON #ForeverYungMafia #OhhMyGxd pic.twitter.com/Wn9uDSHZEx
— Yung Pooda (@IamYungPooda) January 25, 2017
Yung Pooda continued to build a connection with Paul Wall even after their collab.
Their bond is part of the reason his “Forever Tippin” track, a re-work of Mike Jone’s 2004 “Still Tippin” hit featuring Paul Wall and Slim Thug, became a reality when the time came both to clear the record and shoot the visual.
Back in July, “Forever Tippin” became the No. 1 most added record on urban radio and boasts well over three million views on the Boomtown-directed video on YouTube.
Yung Pooda’s Cool and Dre-produced “Forever Tippin” also recently cracked the top 30 of the Billboard Mainstream/Hip Hop Airplay chart at the No. 28 position.
Paul Wall has also returned to form over the last year following his triple album effort in 2o20, which included his collaborative Slab Talk album featuring Lil Keke.
The Houston rap mainstay and Slim Thug also connected with Lil Keke for their “Still Sippin” release, ahead of Paul Wall’s Hall Of Fame Hustler album.
Watch the full interview clip above and revisit the video for “Forever Tippin” below.