Friday, December 09, 2005

Houston's Devin the Dude marches to the beat of his own hip-hop

First off, thanks a million to the Houston Chronicle, namely Lance Scott Walker and Andrew Dansby for writing and hooking up this outstanding Devin piece today. Below you can read the story and see the photo, but you've got to pick up the actual paper as this piece is the cover story of the STAR section with the photo of Devin blown up to about half newspaper page size. Get you a poster! Bring it to the show Sunday and get it signed. Just be there. In case you forgot, let's go to a lil commercial break before we get into the article....

Sunday December 11th
HoustonSoReal Presents
Devin the Dude LIVE
The Odd Squad/Coughee Brothaz

The Chicharones featuring Sleep and Josh Martinez


Lower Life Form


DJ Witnes

and DJ CeePlus will spin an exclusive dance party set after Devin the Dude.
Where: Havana Latin Bar & Grill, 818 Travis St., Downtown Houston, TX

When: Sunday December 11th 9 p.m.

How Much: $10 before 11 p.m. More after.

$2 Heinekens all night!

Cheap Patron specials.

More information at or call 713-222-2254

Now on to the story.

Click here to see on Chron Site.

Dec. 9, 2005, 3:20AM
Houston's Devin the Dude marches to the beat of his own hip-hop

For The Chronicle

"I think it needs bass," said Houston rapper Devin the Dude from his spot crouched on a stoop behind the studio engineer's chair. He then looked up and across the room. "You got a bass?"

He was talking to 1970s funk/soul legend Blowfly, who had played at Rudyard's Pub the night before and was recording in the studio before his band had to take off for Austin. Devin and Blowfly were collaborating on a track, but they didn't exactly know what track, or even what it would be about.

"Collaborating is just all about ideas," said Devin, as the bassist ran out to the van to fetch his instrument. "You just get in here and see what happens. No planning. You never know what's going to happen."

Devin the Dude, who performs at Havana Grill and Bar Sunday, is an anomaly as far as Houston rap is concerned. Our city has always been known for its hard, ugly side — most notably with scowling characters such as Scarface and the Geto Boys and DJ Screw, and even with the newer crop of MCs, such as Mike Jones and Slim Thug — but Devin has always been a singular, independent entity.

He is one of the few local MCs who can't be pigeonholed as making a particular "type" of hip-hop, and he's not closely associated with any other local rappers. And instead of making the rounds in the inner Loop for his live appearances, he has spent time hopping across the pond to play shows in Europe — and plans to go back next year.

His lyrics are stories rather than the self-referential braggadocio ventures used by a lot of rappers. He crafts themes in his songs, voicing other characters in a flawless, almost conversational tone. You could call his music "witty" or "clever," but each of those terms infers that a nudge of the elbow toward the listener is needed to make sure they "get" it.

With Devin, there's nothing to "get." He's just Devin. His personality inks itself into every corner of every track, coming together most perfectly in Go Fight Some Other Crime, from last year's To Tha X-Treme (Asylum/Rap-a-Lot). In it, Devin and a car full of rappers are stopped by the police, whose conversation (also voiced by Devin) with Devin and rapper Cory Mo actually becomes part of the rap.

The officers stop Devin's Cadillac after a police dog picks up a "questionable" illegal scent. But it becomes evident through the track that the officers are drug traffickers themselves and don't want anyone infringing on their trade.

Devin's delivery is his trademark because it's so believable — relaxed, sharp and perfectly executed.

With that in mind, his collaboration with Blowfly was particularly interesting to watch. Blowfly's lyrics would leave even comedian Richard Pryor's mouth agape — filthy, raw and unforgiving. To pair it with Devin's smooth delivery would be a challenge — one that both welcomed.

In the studio with DJ Domination (Geto Boys), it all came to life. Blowfly's bass plugged into the mixing board, and he crafted an early Jane's Addiction-esque bassline. Producer DJ Domination recorded it, cut it up and began to mold it into the song, bit by bit until he'd stitched it all together with the final beat, which came through the speakers and inspired a congregation of nodding heads in the room.

"That's it," Devin remarked, looking over at Domination. "That's what I wanted to hear."

Here's a few exclusive shots from that session:

Pee Wee Herman watches as Blowfly reads in the Lobby of the Coughee Brothaz studio

Domo and Blowflys bass player Rob Sherber

Devin in the studio

Blowfly's drummer Tom Bowker and Lance Scott Walker

Blowfly dropping knowledge on Devin and Lance

And here's DJ Cozmos who shares studio space with them boys.

And through all of this, lets not forget Christmas.

See you Sunday????


Anonymous Dj Fo20 said...

Yessir, hope to be there Sunday. Cant wait to see Devins live set. Last time I saw him live was with the Odd Squad at Delamar stadium, by NW Mall, at a car show back in 94 or 95 with the Odd Squad. You notice that you posted at 7:13 am? You probably did that on purpose. - 1

10:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That fifth photo is exactly why I wish I could have been in studio during the colabo. good stuff.

10:19 AM  
Anonymous csdd3rd said...

...peep the real...

say Matt, whatever happened with that Devin documentary? has that been finished or still being filmed? hit me up.

11:26 AM  
Blogger Pushermania said...

7:13 am on purpose????

11:49 AM  
Blogger * Justine said...

beautiful little girl, cool other pics too. I told my friend in TX to go to the show Tomorrow but I don't think he will make it.

7:56 AM  
Blogger Pushermania said...

Devin documentary is still in production but its coming. I saw soem of the footage its dope as hell!

8:17 AM  
Anonymous csdd3rd said...

hell yeah. can't wait to see the final product. thanks for the update.

11:25 PM  
Blogger Pushermania said...

He'll be in the house filming tonight for it!

9:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey, anymore Devin shows planned soon. or do you know where i can find out that info?

7:28 PM  
Anonymous amaru said...

'sup ya'll , im a big fan of Devin for years and i was at his show in Amsterdam last year , and i just found out a few days ago that he will be performing together with MR SCARFACE himself in AMSTERDAM again. this is going to be once again a classic night.

Scarface / Devin the Dude / Rapid Ric / DJ Domination (Geto Boys)

saterday the 25th of february 2006
Amsterdam , the Netherlands

Rap-a-lot is once again in Amsterdam... and while im enjoying my late night smoke here im wondering wich suprise guests could come along with them. If dreams could come true i would say Pimp C , but i dont see that happening
see you in Amsterdam for a classic night.

4:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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12:53 AM  

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