Smoke weed. Get women. On the surface, that’s the message of almost every song from Houston underground hip-hop star Devin The Dude, who heads to Velvet Jones this Friday, April 30. This amiable emcee—who’s collaborated with such luminaries as Andre 3000, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Lil Wayne—is like those third-string LOST characters who don’t get enough screen time but whose fans anticipate and cheer for their tension-breaking one-liners. But what more is there to this strangely loveable, raunchy goofball?
Quite a lot, actually. His unprintably salacious story-songs and chronicles of Harold & Kumar-rivaling munchie runs provide the smoke screen for his sincerity. Devin’s bluntly-titled sixth solo album, Suite 420, which incidentally came out April 20, offers plenty of slacker anthems. It finds Devin spitting and singing to the backbeat of his slow ’n’ low electro-funk, but it also makes some frank observations about relationships and social struggles. Many will justifiably take offense to the X-rated rhymes, but there’s more to his music than that. Sometimes.
It’s like Ice-T once said: “Rap is really funny. But if you don’t see that it’s funny, it will scare the shit out of you.”
“A lot of times I don’t mean to be funny, but it comes across that way,” Devin said recently via phone. “There’s a song I got called “Boo Boo’n,” and a lot of people were telling me, like, ‘That’s a funny song, man!’” even though Devin originally wrote it when he was “feeling uptight about something.”
He shrugs off misinterpretations, though. “It’s the weed and the drinking and the women that stick out, and a lot of people will just grab that and hold on to it and kind of rewind that part instead of listening to the other stuff. But it’s all good. To me, it gives me time to do other songs. And [a] lot of people will look back a few years from now and be like, ‘He did a lot of songs about weed and pussy and stuff, but he kind of said something on this particular song or line right there.’ And if they can do that, it’s all good.”