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Still Wreck the Show, Even Though I Get Faded.


I wrote a real small thing about Devin the Dude for the Independent Weekly pushing his show this Monday at The Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro, NC with the Coughee Brothaz. This was interesting because the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill Triangle’s this place where tons of regular-ass people go to shows all the time and so, I really wanted to sell the Dude to say, the tons of kids at the Wiz Khalifa show in April at the same venue or those still on that Kid Cudi album or just the plethora of party boys and stoners that go to one of the many universities in the area looking for something to do on a Monday night.

Writing this also forced me to sit down with Suite 420 for really, the first time. To long time fans, Devin’s past two albums have been disappointments and they kinda are, but there’s some really murky production on this new one, probably more murky because it’s all pretty low-rent and well, I’ll take that. And to me, it doesn’t feel any more or less inert than The Dude or Just Tryin’ ta Live–it just doesn’t have those sad-sack, stone cold classics to interrupt the casual, middling flow.

“Devin the Dude, hip-hop’s original lonely stoner, has made poignant pot rap for nearly two decades. His best stuff—”Doobie Ashtray,” “No Longer Needed Here,” everything from 2004’s To Tha X-Treme—chillaxes in that uncomfortable spot between hilarious and depressing. Imagine a self-aware Kid Cudi with skills or a Snoop Dog that’s totally disinterested in Billboard.

The Dude’s formula—self-deprecating rhymes with weed as a metaphor for any and everything, over rolling funk beats—has mostly stayed the same. But since he left Rap-A-Lot, his label of 15 years, his work has been relatively bummer-free and less penetrating. The stuff that once riled Devin up (triflin’ females, the rising price of an eighth) and got him pontificating now just has him cracking jokes.

Live, though, Devin’s always been about good vibes. He’s strangely charismatic on stage, floating through his cult hits like a pro—unexpected, given his scrappy, weedhead persona. “Still wreck the show, though I get faded,” he brags on “Still Comin” off Suite 420 (which dropped on April 20, natch). When he stumbles into town with his kush-loving crew The Coughee Brothaz, we’ll see if he lives up to that modest boast.”

Written by Brandon

May 20th, 2010 at 6:55 am