Paul Wall, Skinhead Rob And Travis Barker Form Hip-Hop Group

Grill man Paul Wall has teamed up with former punk/hip-hop Transplants frontman Skinhead Rob and Travis Barker of Blink 182 fame to form a new group called Expensive Taste, with Barker helming the way, handling the bulk of the new group’s production.

After Rob and Barker ended their run as The Transplants during last summer’s Vans Warped Tour, Rob and Paul Wall begin to talk about starting their own group, since the two were so close and already had a friendly rapport. Once the pair agreed it was the right step for both of them, Rob called on to his partner Barker, who was already beginning to offer his production skills to the hip-hop world, and made the group complete.

“Paul is the homie and he’s one of the coolest dudes I’ve come across,” Skinhead Rob told “It’s real lucky when you get a chance to work with people who are like that and have that kind of good heart. He’s just a genuine good person ’cause a lot of people in this business are some fake ass, fraud ass, snake in the grass ass motherf***ers.

“We’re about doing our thing, and we understand motherf***ers are gonna hate on us for whatever reason and people are gonna love us for whatever reason. We’re just gonna take the good with the bad, and it’s whatever with us,” Rob added, refering to the possible feedback and/or criticism the group may receive from the fans.

Although the group may seem like an odd mix of artists, Rob contends that the trio are so alike that it only made sense for them to come together and collaborate.

“With Paul being [from Houston] and me and Travis being from [the West Coast], it all works wonderfully to me,” explained Rob. “We live our different lifestyles, but we are the same motherf***in’ people; we do the same sh**. We just got the great chemistry together and it’s a lovely thing, for sure.”

The newly formed group has already begun work in the studio, recording tracks for their untitled debut album. Although Rob and Travis have a punk/rock background, they say their new album will be a strictly hip-hop/rap record, but do not rule out the chance for cross-genre influence in the music if the track is right.

Travis, who has already produced tracks for Pharrell Williams, Bun B and the Black Eyed Peas, will be handling most of the album’s production, but tracks from other hip-hop producers may follow, as the process of recording goes on. Already, Texas producer Pretty Todd of the G.R.I.T. Boys has contributed one track, which has that “slow motion Houston vibe to it,” according to the group.

For people who haven’t heard of the Transplants or Skinhead Rob, some hip-hop fans may be taken back by the rapper’s name and/or appearance, but Rob says he’s not what you think.

“Don’t judge a book by it’s cover or judge a motherf***er by his name,” explained Rob. “A lot of people tend to get me f***ed up ’cause they call me Skinhead Rob. They tend to think I’m some kind of Nazi, white trash motherf***er, but that’s not me.”

As far as his musical style, Rob explains that he is just an artist who speaks from his heart and instead of worrying about being politically correct or getting airplay, he’s only concerned with speaking about what’s on his mind.

“I speak about subjects that I deal with, things that go on in my life and experiences I’ve been through,” the rapper explains. “Maybe my stuff is not always the friendliest of subject matter or the most radio friendly, but f*** it. I’ve never been worried about getting no airplay before, so I ain’t trying to tone nothing down now. If anything, I’m going harder than ever on these motherf***ers ’cause there is still sh** cracking off on the daily [out here in L.A.].”

Expensive Taste will be continuing to work on their new project through next year, with the hopes to release their debut mid to late 2006.

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