Devin The Dude

Who would’ve guessed you could build a whole damn career rapping about weed? I’ve got to give it to H-town MC Devin “The Dude” Copeland, though — he’s definitely got his subject matter down. Of all the tracks I’ve heard, only a handful have anything to do with something other than herb, and most of those’re tried-and-true topics like sex, women, and getting drunk. The funny thing is that what I think I like the most about the Dude is that he’s not trying to throw up some kind of “hard” gangsta persona, not bragging about how he owns the streets or how he’s willing to kill somebody just for looking at him funny. Devin’s just a guy who likes to sit around and get high with his friends, cruise the H-town streets in his Caddy, and rhyme/sing over deep, laid-back, Blaxploitation-style beats. No gangster theatrics, just reality, and that’s a nice change from the usual guns-and-drugs hustler bullshit. To me, this is a lot more of a down-to-earth picture of life in the sprawling metropolitan hell we all call home than a lot of what’s out there.

The other good thing about Devin — and I’ve kinda already hit on it — is that he can sing. The guy’s got a good voice, and when he croons, it’s got that old-school soul feel to it. Hell, even when he raps, it sounds better than a lot of his contemporaries; not only can he actually flow, his voice doesn’t grate like some people’s (not naming names, mind you), and the lyrics are thoughtful and intelligent…yes, even if all he’s singing about is his love for marijuana. Of course, then there’s the humor; some of the tracks are just damn funny, even when they border on disturbing or have a dark undertone to ’em.

I’m kind of annoyed at myself for not listening to this guy sooner, by the way, especially since he’s on a freakin’ major label, Virgin Records. He’s got four albums out — his self-titled debut, 2002’s Just Tryin’ ta Live, a remix album for Live called Chopped Up, and ’04’s To Tha X-Treme — and everything I’ve heard off ’em is gold, a wakeup call that there’s more to the H-town hip-hop scene than gangstas and cough syrup…

Band writeup by . Band writeup posted Sunday, January 16th, 2011. Filed under Posts.

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