Weed rapper Devin the Dude rolled into Dallas on Friday on a stop from his Still Rolling Up Tour, and lit up the stage at Gas Monkey Live!
The smoke-filled hazy set complemented a crowd packed with potheads of all demographics: from carefree high school kids who think it's OK to spark a joint anywhere they want, to people old enough to be those kids' grandparents.
The Houston native has never been considered a Billboard chart champion, but eight of his albums have appeared in the U.S. R&B top 40, and he's remained true to his sound over the years, recording with UGK, Snoop Dogg and André 3000, which has only solidified his credibility in the music industry.
Devin the Dude brought his longtime friends, Rob Quest and Jugg Mugg, to perform some of the most memorable pot story-telling songs they had written together over the last 20 years. The three of them are the Coughee Brothaz, a rap trio they put together in 1989. Quest is blind, but his inability to see has never affected his presence in front of a microphone nor his ability to produce some of the instrumental heavy beats that lay behind Devin the Dude’s lyrics.
When Devin the Dude finally stepped out to the stage — after the DJ kept the heavily sedated crowd awake for an hour — he was dressed looking like your favorite uncle at the family barbecue, sporting a maroon nylon jersey with "Coughee Brothaz" screen-pressed into the fabric, with creased white Dickies shorts and a maroon snapback to match.
Devin the Dude filled the stage, wall-to-wall, with his friends and family. He was handed a lit King Size raw cone that looked like a miniature baseball bat. As he took the first puffs and the cherry on the end of the cone lit up, the crowd cheered him on with screams. Considering Texas has not legalized cannabis, it was a risky move. But Devin the Dude follows the laws of showmanship and branding, rather than state law, so like any true pothead, he did the right thing and kept smoking without a care.
Devin the Dude’s catalog consists mostly of soulful songs about having weed, not having weed, needing weed, loving weed, smoking weed and how weed helps users work toward becoming a better version of themselves.
Fans tried to sing along as he performed all his top records like We High Right Now, Acoustic Levitation and Doobie Ashtray. A lot of his songs require vocals that the cotton-mouth crowd couldn't manage but attempted anyway as a way of showing respect to one of the original rapper-singer songwriters — Drake wasn’t the first to make it popular.
Smoke machines behind the stage kept the venue cloudy and helped disguise some of those people who tried to hit their sneak-a-toke during the show. Security remained pretty active as they navigated their way through the crowd and took people’s joints and vaporizers.
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One fan, who was visibly under the influence of something exceeding the strength of a 30% THC sativa strain, was escorted from his front-row spot to the back of the crowd because he tried to climb the top of the gate separating the crowd from the stage. Even a quick glance into his pupils showed he likely ended up at the venue having misread directions to an EDM festival.
Devin the Dude is a cannabis community legend, one who walks fans through his personal experiences — the shared smoker's woes that his fellow cannabis users have also experienced: Friends taking all the doobies out of the ashtray, smoking during a lunch break at work and spending your last dollar on a sack with some friends instead of buying some fast food. He portrays himself as a regular dude and allows for his listeners to connect with him on another level.
Even after the instrumentals were cut, Devin the Dude sang a couple of songs a capella as the crowd chanted his name. The show finally came to an end when he performed "Anythang," in which he talked about the importance of appreciating what you already have instead of focusing on what you don’t have.
He finished by saying, “Anythang is plenty, man, and better than nothing at all."