Devin the Dude
All Grown Up

devin1.jpgIts been three years since Devin the Dude released his last album, the critically acclaimed but commercial failure, To Tha X-Treme. But a lot has changed in hip-hop since then. Houston is now the hot bed of hip-hop, propelling pioneering hometown artists, such as Devin, into legendary status. Now, with the release of his fourth solo album in nine years – Waitin’ To Inhale – the eccentric MC offers more x-rated tales, but this time, with a sense of maturity.

Devin The Dude’s humble rap beginnings started in the late 80’s when he meet Rob Quest, an MC/producer who was apart of the Houston group, the Coughee Brothaz. The two formed a bond and then enlisted Jugg Mugg and DJ Screw to create the four-man collective, the Odd Squad. DJ Styles would later replace Screw before they released their 1994 debut album, Fadanuf fa Erybody!! It was Devin, however, who garnered most of the attention in the crew. The Geto Boys’ Scarface took notice. He asked Devin to join his group, Facemob. The five MCs released their debut album, The Other Side of the Law in 1996 after which, Devin stepped out as a solo artist, releasing his self-titled debut in 1998. The album garnered a cult following of fans that were enamored with Devin’s penchant for woman, weed and silly antics. While it was a commercial flop, one of the fans he won was over Dr. Dre, who love Devin’s work and featured him on “Fuck You,” off the classic album 2001. It was Devin’s big break. Unfortunately, Devin’s new fame didn’t lead to SoundScan success. His following two albums – Just Tryin’ ta Live (2002) and To Tha X-Treme (2004) – failed to even go gold.

But a lot has changed since his last album. Now a family man, Devin has a newfound maturation. While that’s a characterization not usually associated with Devin, the Houston legend reveals a side of him hardly seen, discussing his moral conscious and artistic responsibility (say what?) with XXLMag.com. Diehard fans don’t fret; The Dude isn’t straying from his foundation, he’s just getting his grown man on. There’s still plenty of blunts, brews and woman to go around. Even if that’s not the only thing on his mind these days.

What’s going on in the world of Devin today?
I’m chillin’. We’re [Odd Squad] in the studio right now going over some old music we did back around 1992.

Are you playing songs or just reminiscing about past experiences?
We’re playing Odd Squad stuff and collaborations we did with the 5th Ward Boyz and Too Much Trouble.

What’s the mood in the studio?
Man, we’re having a ball. I got a couple of brews and a cup of coffee brewing [weed]. I brought some old cassette tapes that I had for awhile to the studio today. We’re going through them—reminiscing and trippin’.

Speaking of the past, you’ve always had a sense of musical history. When did it transcend into becoming an artist?
We was poppin’ and breakin’ in the 80’s. My brother and me formed a group and we would perform in front of a nursing home. We did a baseball [influenced] routine. I always felt sorry for the elderly people in that home, though. It made me nervous, so it was hard to concentrate. But eventually, I got my routine together and when we finished, all the people stood up and applauded. One woman, who lost a limb, was clapping her hand and nub together, enjoying herself. So I was like, Instead of feeling sorry for her, I’m gonna party with her.

But around ‘86, it [break dancing] started to become commercial and watered down. They [the police] were even stopping us from doing it on corners and in front of stores. They really [destroyed] break dancing and it left us with just the music. So, we would have our tapes with the instrumental side, which [influenced] us to pick up a mic and start freestyling. I then started battling in the park in ‘88. My brother would DJ and my crew would get on the mic. We would battle whoever stepped up to the mic. Girls loved us!

What can we expect from your new album, Waitin’ to Inhale?
Just some good feelings and tripped out times that may seem serious, but have a funny ending or meaning behind it. I’m having fun and just trying to enjoy loving the music. I usually title my albums after one of the songs that sums everything up. But I couldn’t find that song this time. So, we were trying to think outside the box and DJ Domo, one of my producers, came up with the title. It’s just something positive. I have a couple of relationship songs on there, as always.

devin2.jpgSo the formula hasn’t changed?
Not really, but I welcome a lot of producers coming out with hot tracks. When they present it to me, if there’s a track on there that can fit with what we are doing, we’ll run with it.

Speaking of relationship songs, do you get a lot of flack for your content?
Kind of, but its usually in a cool way. One time after a show, this girl walked up to me and was like, “I love that song “Fuck Faces” you have.” So, I kind of get mixed reviews. But personally, I just look at it like; I have to [tone] it down. I got girls myself now. I’m getting older and kind of realizing what’s going down. You just mature and change gradually.

It’s healthy for fans to see that growth.

I just like to show people respect because that’s the only way you can get it. My mom plays a big part in that. She installed a lot of that in me, as far as being respectful. I don’t even cuss in front of her. I didn’t really care about that with the Odd Squad music. I was so nervous when she got a copy of the album because she was always proud of me. She always said she was praying for me. So when she heard it, she told me what numbers she liked on the album [laughs]. She told me she didn’t like some of the stuff but to keep on going because she was proud of me. Once I heard that, I let it rip. If I can get that support from my mom, then I just gotta do my thing.

How do you feel about Houston dominating hip-hop?
I feel blessed just to be apart of that cycle. It will be in another city soon, so we’ve got to enjoy it, keep pushing and do as much as we can while it’s here. It’s all love. It’s just a blessing to be apart of it and see people have their eyes and ears on us.

Even though you are an inspiration for a lot of MCs today, you’ve always remained low-key. Why is that?
I feel comfortable with it. It’s a blessing in disguise. I feel like I’m in the middle somewhere. I don’t feel low or real high, at all. It helps me balance myself in the studio and at home.

What keeps you relevant?
The people around me. But also the fact that I have to be someone special. I’m me and there’s only one. Everybody should feel that way. There’s gotta be something different that I can do. I always felt different. I’m no one if it wasn’t for you, and because of you, I am who I am. Plus, I’m a people person. I like to laugh, have fun and be around good people. Color and race doesn’t matter to me. A lot of people are so upset [nowadays], but once you get a chance to communicate and talk to people, you realize everything you have in common with people. It’s really a good thing.

  • Ny TiLL Da EnD

    I loved that song “fuck you” w/ him, Dre n Snoop

  • Rodjilius

    hah 2nd dont kno why i did dat

  • http://www.xxlmag.com mike from the wood

    “Anything is every thang”

  • ambition-1

    co-sign anything is everything, add: do what the fuck you wanna do, boo boo’n, cootabrown, 2 tha extreme, lacville 79, and chillin in front of the club, if thats even the name of the song, if you kno devin then you kno what i’m talkin bout.

  • thecoolguy

    whos devin the dude?

  • Jeevan Brown

    my nigga devin the dude finally coming back ive been a fan since “The Dude” you got to show em what they pussy made for, but Devin knows that everybody in the DC Metro area fucks with him he comes and performs with some of the gogo bands alot hes some of our number one rap artist

  • C-Blaq

    LACVILLE ’79..WHO IS THE MAN..WHY THEY DO ME THAT WAY…DO WHAT THE FUCK U WANNA DO..CHECKIN OUT DA BITCHES(TRYIN TO SEE WHAT I CAN SEE)..ANYTHING IS EVERYTHING

    IM A REAL FUCKIN FAN!! GLAD HE COMIN OUT WIT ANOTHER 1! DO YO THUG THANG DEVIN

  • jacquez
  • http://www.xxlmag.com wowitsnick

    devin is the realest cause he so laid back and don’t talk bout none of that shit them other fuck ass niggas be talkin bout

  • http://www.myspace.com/sinistahmoneybagz Sinistah aka Sin Pifferachi

    nice interview, been a fan of his since da mid 90′s.

  • bbe4eva

    if u aint from tha souf i dont think u will even kno who he is but he da shyt 2 me much luv devin and keep doin ya thing
    sth mem 4 life
    memphis,tn

  • Auntichrist

    Devin is the shit…If you can find that Odd Squad CD for less than a hundred bucks on E-bay or somewhere consider yourself lucky…

  • http://xxlmag.com helldel

    Devin was doing it before half of the Houston artist that have blown up. He is the truth. The track on the best of both worlds is one of the hardest on that album….

  • jojochicago

    Da Dude! what else can i say?! HIghly slept on and i can’t get enough of the Dr Dre track. I shouldn’t have to mention the title its in the interview. i will buy the new joint too!

  • Honestasicanb

    Devin is what hip hop is missing. Totally different from what everybody is about. Real trying to live everyday type shit. You can be in the hood and not be the thug or dope boy. You can be the niggas getting high, trying to bust a nut and just enjoying the situation you are in. He has bringing every album even tho two the xtreme was a little watered down but some of most slept on albums ever.

  • Honestasicanb

    And its anything is plenty

  • triplesixninja

    much propers for devin tha dude
    tha rap game needs more emcees who got that laid back style without that played out emphasis on gangsta shit motifs

  • triplesixninja

    shots out to boosie and webbie and triplesix and ugk
    tha realest in the south
    shots out to wu tang clan
    tha realest in the north
    and shots out to insane clown posse
    tha realest period.

    “Wicked Klowns kicked out the cirKus!
    Use to get live let the midget lady work this” Shaggs 2dope

  • triplesixninja

    ugk webbie boosie triplesix chammilionare realest in the south
    Wu Tang Clan realest in the north
    Insane clown Posse realest period

    fuck off and lick my internet virtual reality nut sack if u don’t like it

    killa clowns kicked out the cirkus use to get live let the midget lady work this

  • triplesixninja

    testing 123

  • triplesixninja

    rza best emcee ever

  • MR.CANDY

    THATS MY NIGGA ONE OF THE MOST SLEPT ON ARTIST EVER!!

  • http://dsf

    he is arguably the ugliest person ever.

  • Da South got HipHop

    Propz to Devin The Dude keeping Hip Hop Alive!

  • DEESENOTS

    COOLEST MUTHAFUCKA I EVER MET. PAUL WALL AND BUN B TOO ALL VERY COOL PEOPLE NOT CAUGHT UP IN THAT BULLSHIT AT ALL. WHAT UP FACE! SCARFACE IS A COOL MUTHA FUCKA TOO. I’M FROM CLEVELAND BUT LIVE IN HOUSTON NOW AND THEY DESERVE ALL THE SHIT THAT’S HAPPENIN. GOOD LUCK DEVIN!!

  • Fernando

    Did somebody really just say that Insane Clown Posse is the realest period???? Lemme guess, you are white & occasionally do meth? punk ass loser.

    Random fact,

    Devin comes to Portland Oregon a few times a year and MAAAD people go to the show. He gets a lot of love on the NorthWest Coast. He is big in Hawaii too..

  • thatdude

    the dude title track clowns

  • .

    Can’t wait to inhale that next devin album

  • i’m tired of this shit

    can we get this broke rapper to retire. please i can’t take it anymore. i’m this close to going postal. i’m stuck in some community college in the bronx and then i gotta listen to this shitty artist.

  • i’m tired of this shit

    people that need to die .
    1. Rasheed Wallace
    2. Oj
    3. Billy Sunday
    4. tru life
    5.saigon

  • Stax On Deck

    Dirty South LEGEND!!!!!!!!

  • Moe

    I think he meant that syrup when he said he had “A cup of coffee brewing”.

  • ajthrowback

    Devin the Dude = One of the best slept-on spitters in hip-hop

    P.S. Moe, I believe Devin actually clarified on one of his albums that “coffee” or “coughee” is weed, not syrup. Weed makes you “cough”, syrup suppresses “coughs”. Makes sense to me…

  • Liquid Liquid
  • DJ M.O.B.

    MAN DEVIN BEEN HOLDING IT DOWN!! HE IS ONE THE MOST UNDERATED RAPPERS OF ALL TIME. HE IS WITTY, FUNNY & HE CAN SPIT. I GOT ALL HIS ALBUMS, BUT I’M STILL TRYING TO FIND THE ODD SQUAD. KEEP DOING YA THANG DEVIN. FOR ALL DEVIN FANS GO TO SOHH.COM WATCH PARTS 1,2, & 3 OF DEVINS VIDEOS!!

  • http://iwillspankyourkids.blogspot.com Hollywood

    “sippin’ coughee, mindin’ my business, y is u trippin’ won’t u get up off me?” yea, devin is the truth people. phenomenal feature!

  • TrillGates

    My favorite line from the dude is “fuckin up some fo sho pussy tryin to get some mo pussy” Devin be talkin it. All his albums got that flow to em, one hot song goes right into another. The nigga got classics. Too bad erybody don’t know em.

  • riderdie

    The dude gets so much respect because he never sold his soul for money. He knew his fan base and stuck to it. Devin is the most underrated mc of our time. Just trying to live and to the extreme are two of my favorite cds of all time. Good lookin on the story. Keep pushin Devin, ur real fans are always wit ya. 1 hundid. Oh and auntichrist. Go to sosouth.com they got that odd squad for reg price. Holla at ya folk. 1 hundid. PS for those who dont know about Devin. Go listen to the song with 8ball off to the extreme, ul see what we talking bout. Dallas stand the f up!!!!

  • triplesixninja

    Fernando Says:

    March 7th, 2007 at 4:07 pm
    Did somebody really just say that Insane Clown Posse is the realest period???? Lemme guess, you are white & occasionally do meth? punk ass loser.

    Random fact,

    Devin comes to Portland Oregon a few times a year and MAAAD people go to the show. He gets a lot of love on the NorthWest Coast. He is big in Hawaii too..

    ooh yeah devin the dude goes to portland oregan a few times a year and a lot of people go
    oh that’s so cool fernando
    u fag
    and yeah im white too what the fuck are u going to do about it
    and yeah i smoke meth with Mrs. Fernando all the time and then i have sex with her while we listen to insane clown posse

  • brick

    what the fuck is you talkin about? icp is a group of idiots and have noting to do with hip-hop. it don’t matter that you white, it matters that you stupid enough to put them fruit-cakes at the top of hip-hop. go to re-hab dumb muthafukka.

    sorry for yellin. tha dude is always a breath of fresh air in this stale ass rap game. devin don’t beat you over the head with shit that’s considered hot at the time.he spits everyday shit. tha nigga is real, you can hear it in his songs. i don’t think to many artist are real but he is one of them. do you nigga, i’ll be in the bathroom boo-booin. 1

  • Deez Nizziziti’s

    Lets get rid of the retards on meth listening the painted pussy posse. Devin has been my favorite rapper since Scarface’s My Homies in 96. Im down here in Tucson Az and he comes thru at least once every year and shows mad love. Even smoked a blunt wit dude while he was on stage. Not to many people could say that about their favorite rapper.

  • http://yourmum milske

    somebody had the nerve to take the ‘erb up out ma doobie ashtray, why they do me thaat waaaayyyyy?????

  • M.Stone

    Sitting at work staring at the clock waiting to pick up the new album. Devin’s the man.