Monday, March 23, 2009

Fat Tony interviews Devin the Dude, dude

posted by Free Press Houston @ 12:16 PM

“Man, I'm so high, who am I? / Oh yeah... Devin”

Devin is much more than an artist just tryin' ta live, he's a legend hailing from our lovely lone star state. The New York Times refers to him as “a brilliant oddball with a spaced-out flow”; but we know him best as The Dude. No matter what records are selling, no matter what is trendy, and definitely no matter what the critics are salivating over this week, Devin has a strong fan base worldwide that's dedicated to jammin' his latest and and proclaiming he's the greatest.

He's a man known for sticking to his guns, keeping his traditional Swisher-friendly persona wrapped up in wine, weed, and women raps. Plus a wide range of quite positive and (often) hilarious songs that keep his albums highly praised. He's also pretty well known for his hooks. "Fuck Faces" is my favorite but Devin also has recorded classics such as "Ain't that a Bitch," "Baby Phat," and much more. He has blessed artists from De La Soul to Dr. Dre to UGK with his signature vocal stylings, and has kept even the most fair weather rap fan singing along to "I just wanna fuuuccckk YOU.”

Although he's in travel mode presently, Devin found time to answer a few questions of mine. He'll be performing Saturday, March 28 at Free Press Houston's Westheimer Block Party. Catch Devin during the night show at La Strada performing with Pictureplane, Houston's own Fat Tony

Even as some things stay the same, we're all aware the only constant is change. In your eyes, how has your persona developed and changed over your career ever since the Odd Squad days?

It hasn't changed much at all, but just getting a chance to grow is part of the game. In growing with it you develop other styles because of certain situations. When I started having kids, man, I toned down the specifics of some songs once I knew they were listening too. But more than anything [myself and the Coughee Brothaz] try to have the most fun as possible in the studio. I keep the fun being part of my persona.

Where may this persona be heading next? Got any ideas for how you'd want to switch it up?

I work with whatever is there at the time, man. It depends on what direction the music takes me. It could be the melody, the atmosphere, it's a number of things that construct my writing in the studio.

Outside of this lone star state, where do you feel best received by audiences? What are some cities worldwide you've constantly got little kids saying "who is that man, mama? On stage with a brew in his hand, mama?"

Haha! Man, it's hard to say. But the first cities that come to mind are Seattle, D.C., Denver, certain cities even surprise me, man. I had no idea people in these places were up on my music. California is always pretty cool. Even Boston gave the Coughee Brothaz a really, really good response on tour. It's been a blessing to meet people that really enjoy what you do.

It's definitely a blessing to have a career that's been working for so long. I'd suspect the internet of getting you out to places where they would have never heard you.

Yeah, fa sho, man. It's a lovely thing. All this technology is crazy!

Rappers are getting their sing-song on left and right these days. Kanye West released '808's & Heartbreak', Lil' Wayne's rock album, Lupe Fiasco getting his faux British accent down pat with his new band 'Japanese Cartoon', and T-Pain has been a 'Rappa Ternt Sanga'. You sing very well, Mr. Dude. Would you ever release an all singing album?

You know what... I was thinking of something like that but it might not be your normal record. I want to call it “The Perfect Genitalman” but I'm not sure if that one's gonna work [laughter ensues from The Dude and myself]. I don't know, man... I don't want to take it too far, it'd have to be for fun. I kinda like what I'm doing. If I can incorporate new styles into what I'm doing, I'd like to do that rather than release an album only for singing. Hell, Zeldar might come out with an album! But for now, I'm chillin'.

You've got quite the discography, Mr. Dude. What records of yours are your favorites? Which songs would you want people to remember alongside your legacy?

My songs are like my kids, man! Haha, gotta love 'em all the same. But some do have more meaning to me than others. One of those is a song called “Right Now” off the To Tha X-Treme [2004] album. Tried to get it on the Just Tryin' Ta Live [2002] album but couldn't get the sample cleared, so we had to re-play every piece of the music over again for its release. With the help of Mike Dean and Bryan Conner, plus a lot of patience we were able to make it work.

As a big fan, "Doobie Ashtray" first comes to mind. Two Texans [DJ Premier & Devin] coming together to make a cry out for lost weed so touching that I'd consider it being played at my first son's christening (even if it is, uh, a little out of place).

That's my second favorite right there! Appreciate cha, man. Hahaha.

What brand of cigarillos are the top choice for you?

The regular cigarillo Swisher Sweet. Non-flavored, ya know, less toxins. There's a new blunt called Cyclone that you should watch out for. It comes with a tip already and no tobacco in it. Just open it, stuff it, and fire it up! Got a wood tip for some of them and a paper tip for others.

What has been your most consistent and biggest inspiration over the years?

My family. My mom especially, man, because since I first started she's been interested in what's going on with my music. Growing up I hardly ever cussed around her, so when she first started hearing my music as I was getting out of high school I got a little worried haha. Like, “oh, ma, what she gonna think about this!” When I first started coming out with records and tapes she would listen, and even though I was kinda raw back then too she accepted it. Always hoped and prayed for the best for me. That really inspired me to keep doing my thing.

Thank you so much for the interview, Dude. Just got one more question... how's the lacville '79 holding up? Last I heard it was in the shop.

[Begins singing his dialogue like an Elvis movie] Oooh-yeeeeaaahhh! Man, well you know what, the mechanic told me [the lacville '79 would be ready] two weeks from now. And every time he tells me two weeks, it's like another two months! But right now, I believe it'll be out in a month from now. You'll be seeing Pearly Mae again


At March 23, 2009 at 7:03 PM , Anonymous james s said...

Great interview- Devin is amazing and cant wait to see him!


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home