By Kelly Dearmore
By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
Hailing from Houston, Devin Copeland, aka Devin the Dude, has been offering up his unique brand of rap for nearly 20 years. In that time, little in his music or delivery has changed—and that's a good thing. After all, Devin's high-profile guest appearances on Dr. Dre's "F*** You" in 1999 and De La Soul's "Baby Phat" in 2001 have given him enough hip-hop credibility to allow the dude to ride comfortably into his second decade.
Devin's latest opus, Suite 420, features more of what fans have come to expect from the man: Southern-style hip-hop with a smooth, bass-heavy delivery. On the new disc, Devin pontificates on everything from his massive preference for weed ("What I Be On") to his thoughts on the current state of hip-hop ("Pick My Brain").
But what still sets Copeland apart from many in the genre is his self-deprecating wit. Devin's unafraid of mocking himself—even coming across as almost humble on the sexually explicit ballad "I Can't Handle It." Mix that humility in with the clever beats and cheerful demeanor of the lyrics and you have rap that doesn't aim to assault, and only occasionally to insult.
Indeed, the hip-hop scene sure could use a few more like this Dude.