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Stir the Coughee

Blinded by the bling of the event-rappers? Pick up a cup o' Devin's joe

Now that Curtis and Graduation have finally hit stores and everyone has (prematurely, but whatever) handed the sales victory to Kanye, it feels like a good moment to take a break from event-rap and talk about another album, one that has none of the world-conquering ambition of those other two. Waitin' Our Turn, the new one from Devin the Dude's Coughee Brothaz project, hit stores a week before the other two.

Thus far, Waitin' Our Turn has barely received a fraction of the attention that even Devin's last solo album got, let alone Graduation or Curtis. And that seems almost by design; it's a loose, conversational album on the group's own indie label, a collection of songs in which dudes always end up talking about weed or nasty sex even when the songs aren't strictly about weed or nasty sex, and nobody pretends to have more money than anyone else. After Kanye's headline-­grabbing theatrics and 50's precision-tooled ­market-catering, it's a real relief to hear a rap album that doesn't try to be anything more or less than a rap album. Most rap albums used to sound something like this. In its nonexistent structure and its rampant, effortless shit-talk, Waitin' Our Turn reminds me of mid-'90s regional-rap records like E-40's In a Major Way or UGK's Super Tight, albums recorded for virtually no money that ended up sounding organic and cohesive, in part because their makers lacked the means to make blockbuster pop albums. Maybe once the event-rap market finally burns itself out, rap albums will go back to sounding something like this.

 
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