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Best CD By Local Musicians Houston 2007 - Waitin' to Inhale, Devin the Dude

Readers' Choice: TIE: Protection, LoneStar Porn Star; The Remedy, Focusyn

A true jazzman on the mike, Devin is a master of meter, intonation and rhyme. His down-to-earth words are full of wit and humor, and man, those relaxing, blessed-out beats — they make you exhale like you just slid into a hot whirlpool bath after toting the rock 32 times against the Chicago Bears D. "Almighty Dollar," the album's first single and a rare example of "inflation rap," is textbook Devin — the Dude always finds the funniest, wisest way to say what we're all thinking. Over a spacey, plinky beat that strikes just the right dismal note, Devin raps thusly: "The almighty dollar / It ain't what it used to be / Hobos used to ask you for a dollar / Now the muthafuckas ask you for three." Elsewhere, a new maturity creeps in — Devin takes mid-life stock on "Hope I Don't Get Sick-a-This" and on the Snoop Dogg-Andre 3000 collabo "What a Job," but don't expect him to be heading for a monk's life anytime soon.

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