Devin the Dude

Houston's dankest, wackiest export, Devin the Dude, is all things to all women, or so his collaborations suggest. With The Alchemist, he's a paranoid cheater (“Where Can We Go?”), with Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg he's a hornball creep (“Fuck You”), and with De La Soul he's a big-butt aficionado who appreciates a few extra inches (“Baby Phat”).

But to most of us, he's simply a good-time pothead who doesn't perform at home nearly enough. A chilled rapper and a wonderfully smooth crooner, the Odd Squad veteran has never quite reached the household name status of his collaborators, who include Lil Wayne, Ice Cube and Juvenile as well as Bun B and Nas and Andre 3000 (which says as much about his affable personality as it does about hip-hop's “more is more” guest-rapper mentality).

But it doesn't seem to bother him much, and his latest Rap-A-Lot release, Waitin' to Inhale (one of the funniest names of any CD in recent memory), continues along the slow path of his career's slightly inclined trajectory. Listeners may not always follow his addled train of thought, but there's no denying his enthusiasm. As he says on “What a Job”: “I'm trying to do what I love / I love what I do / This music is something more different than the weed and the brew.”


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