Devin the Dude
Reviewed by Robert Gabriel, Fri., Sept. 3, 2004
Devin the DudeTo tha X-treme (Rap-A-Lot) Mesmeric cadences ease by like traffic signs on I-59 as an inebriated driver weaves through the mental strains of a disloyal relationship. "Anything is plenty," becomes the thought at work as Devin the Dude comes to the conclusion that there "really ain't no need for self pity." Whether rapping, singing, or cracking himself up, the Odd Squad veteran simply lays back in the cut, allowing an entirely unforeseen lane to open up to him. Thinking back to the hooks he's provided for Scarface, Dr. Dre, and De La Soul, Devin revels in the idea that he's traveled the hip-hop universe and brought back a gang of stories to tell. Actually forget all that; a coded booty call ("What?") and a trip to a neighbor's house for a smoke ("Motha") is about all that's on this Houstonian's mind. At his best, Devin conjures a mood of leisurely bliss, even going as far on "Unity" to ride the waves of a countrified slide guitar. Pair him with the burly swing of 8-Ball and the Dude sho'nuff brings "the funk, the whole funk, and nothing but." Swerving through songs like nobody's business, Devin's ultimate wish is not to be thrown in the "Brairpatch." Of course it would be irresponsible to end this zonked ride without Devin's peckerwood rendition of an HPD officer: "The reason why I stopped you wasn't 'cause of radar, but my dog smelled marijuana from the inside of my car."