Houston rapper Paul Wall has offered his take to United States Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte bringing a splash of hip-hop culture to this year’s ceremony London Olympics by rocking a grill after receiving a gold medal last weekend.
Wall co-signed Lochte’s decision and revealed he helped put together the flashy mouthpiece.
“For him to represent us and our culture, the grill culture, it’s just shining a light on hip-hop in the Olympics,” said the People’s Champ, who’s currently working on a new mixtape with DJ Whoo Kid. “Everyone’s talking about it…it’s just an incredible thing to be part of. I’m just honored to be part of it. There’s not too many world-class swimmers wearing our grill.” (XXL Mag)
The Houston rap veteran also gave a detailed description of Lochte’s mouth candy.
“For him to have the American flag in his mouth like that shows great patriotism!” Wall added. Lochte had purchased a standard grill from Wall and TV Johnny before, but they catered this particular one for the Olympics. “The grill he’s wearing is all hand-prong set, all VS diamonds and custom red rubies,” Paul Wall said. “What he has in his mouth is all hand crafted. Every diamond is set by hand–one by one, prong set and all custom red rubies. Of course we gave him an Olympic discount.” (XXL Mag)
According to reports, the 27 year-old swimmer nearly lost his medal for donning a grill.
In some of those photos — if you look close enough — you’ll see he’s wearing a stars-and-stripes, jewel-encrusted “grill” across his top row of teeth. That patriotic mouthpiece almost cost Lochte his medal, he said afterwards. Lochte said he was told he wouldn’t receive his medal if he wore the grill on the podium Saturday night, a USA Swimming representative said. Lochte put the grill on after he got his gold. The USA Swimming representative said he was going to talk to Lochte and see which kind of official (IOC, FINA or LOCOG) spoke to him about the mouthpiece. IOC spokesman Mark Adams said he would look into whether Lochte was prohibited from wearing his grill on the podium, too. (USA Today)
Last fall, Wall hit up SOHH and talked about the popularity of grills in the South.
“[In Texas,] we’ve been selling grillz for so long. They were around long before [becoming associated with hip-hop culture] and they will be around long after. It was so big in the hood and throughout the underground, but then it became a national trend and a fad. It even turned into something that went international. There’s a lot of people overseas that are still selling them. They blew up and people think they kind of went away. The trending and fad aspect of it has passed. It’s not a trend anymore. It’s not a fad anymore. From the people who have been wearing grillz and with the people that treat it like it’s a part of life, and part of the culture, it’s part of your culture and so you’re still going to wear them.” (SOHH Guest Star)
Check out Ryan Lochte’s grill below: