Known more for blunts and beer than bullets and bling, Devin the Dude has kept a smile on Hip Hop's face while most of his peers have opted for a menacing scowl. Possessing the rare ability to inject humor, sex and substance in each of his rhymes, Devin has carved his own unique niche in rap music, becoming everybody's favorite guilty pleasure in the process. Devin, who has worked with blockbuster artists like Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, Andre 3000, Dr. Dre and Raphael Saadiq, will release his fifth studio album, LANDING GEAR, in October 2008.
Born in St. Petersburg, Florida and raised in Houston, Texas, Devin literally lived next door to music as a youngster. Living in a house in front of a radio station, Devin found that one man's trash was another man's treasure when he'd discover and collect old records the station threw in the trash. Before long, he and his brother started pulling out their mom's record player and throwing parties in their front lawn. When he finally stumbled across Hip Hop, Devin found his first calling as a pop-locker performing for friends, family and even his elders at the neighborhood nursing home.
But, it was one (literally) trashed record in particular that would have a life-altering effect on the young Devin, the obscure 1965 song "Rap Dirty" by outcast songwriter Blowfly. Just like any other child exposed to grown folk talk, Devin took to the record, memorized it and would go on to adopt the musings into his own rap style when he started hopping on the mic in the mid-80's. He got fans instantly.
"I was doing security and working at the grocery store," Devin remembers. "I would go on break, read magazines and write my raps. When I let someone at work hear my first rap, he brought a friend the next day. By the end of the week, there was a circle of 15 people standing there listening to me spit the same rap."
It wasn't long before Devin would find others who shared his new found passion. He formed his first rap group, 3D, with his brother Dext