Devin the Dude

Waiting To Inhale | Rap-A-Lot
By MATTHEW GASTEIER  |  April 3, 2007
3.5 3.5 Stars
Why Devin the Dude hasn’t become the biggest rapper in hip-hop is one of life’s great mysteries. Even as his home town of Houston blew up two years ago, Devin continued to fly under the radar of most casual hip-hop fans. Here the weed-and-women-obsessed MC broadens his appeal, pairing his laid-back philosophy with a voice that pours out in his usual half-croon, all-stoned delivery. But unlike past albums, which put him over booming funk and R&B, Waiting To Inhale matches the content with chilled-out beats that leave space around their off-tune synths for the smoke to rise. This is relaxed hip-hop for the end of the BBQ, or the late-night drive after you went cruising down the strip with Devin’s earlier bangers pounding out the speakers. Even if national success continues to elude him, Devin managed to get verses from Snoop and Andre 3000 on “What a Job,” a great reflection on making music. He still refuses to stud his rhymes with violence or pop hooks, but for anyone interested in creative and charismatic hip-hop, there’s no one better.
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