Devin The Dude: Beyond The Smoke Part 2

Continued from Part 1

It won’t be juicy enough for AllHIpHop rumors or illseed, or anything like that— 

Devin: (laughs) I mean,

you’re still recording personal, or no longer recording, personal? You know

I’m still recording! 

Devin: What’d you

say, Niki? (laughs) I want

to know if you’re actually friends with Scarface and Dr. Dre, or do

you just look at them as folks you’ve worked with. 

Devin: Ah, man those

are my brothers! Both of them, those are my brothers. (laughs) At the

drop of a hat, whenever they need me, I’m there!

Are you going to be on Detox or anything new with Scarface? 

Devin: Well, actually,

when I was mixing all these records on the Suite 420 album, Mike

Dean came through and we was choppin’ it up. He wants to be involved

in the next project that I do, you know what I mean. He wants to do

some work together. The feeling is mutual; I’d love to do some work

with ‘Face, anytime. I know how he goes into a studio. I know how

his work ethic is; I know that he’ll come out of there with some heat. What

about Detox are you going to be on that? 

Devin: Yeah, that would

be cool. In relation

to Hip-Hop would you rather earn the respect of your peers and the public,

or make lots and lots of money from jigaboo tunes? 

Devin: (laughs) Of course,

I would like the love and respect and the appreciation of the music.

To me, the money only comes after all that is established. You get the

love and respect, and the money and stuff is like the proverbial icing

on the cake. Everybody knows how money comes and goes and what you can

do with it. How you can blow it and whatever. You can make money all

kinds of ways, doing a whole bund of different things, not just because

of Rap. I like the appreciation from my peers, and my family and my

friends, of what I’m doing, I feel good. I can feel good about whatever

I’m doing, and that goes a long way. I ask

this question a lot, and I want to get your perspective on it. Is there

such a thing as commercially successful Hip-Hop that still possesses

a cultural soul? 

Devin: Yeah, those are

albums like The Chronic, 2001, a couple of Geto Boys albums.

That’s when the underground artist makes commercialized fans cross

over to them, and make them come over. Millions of people have heard

this album, yet it’s still underground and raw. 2 Live Crew did it,

Too Short did it, Ice Cube did it, KRS-One did it; a lot of artists

and Rap groups have done it. But, you just got to be really true about

what you do. And then you got those followers that are true fans that

will really support you and show their number with the units sold. It

lines up sometimes for a lot of artists.

It can be done. It’s not

by you going into a studio and you trying to make it happen. It’s

not done like that. It’s going to be done by you doing what you’re

doing, by you continuously doing what you’re doing, on the grind.

Then you have these followers that’s been followers for a while and

somehow they multiply one year. Then out of nowhere—BOOM—that next

album everybody knows about you and you didn’t have to do a commercial

song to make it happen. That

goes perfectly into my next question. Have you ever been tempted to

make a Hokey-Pokey dance song for the kids? 

Devin: We laugh, and

kid, and joke about it in the studio a lot, you know what I’m saying.

But, when it comes down to it, when you start recording a record, your

heart starts to get more involved into a record and it’s hard to just

follow a trend. Nah, I don’t do that! I don’t go in there trying

to make a commercialized song, or a song that everybody would like.

I would love for people to love all the songs that I make; but, that’s

when I’m finished with it. That’s not before I start. In an

interview that you did with HipHopDx you were saying that you’d like

to have Willie Nelson on a feature; were you serious or just joking


Devin: Both, I was just

tripping; but, I would love to. It would be an honor for me to be on

a track with Willie Nelson. Not just because of the similarities of

smoking weed; but, doing music and having storytelling type songs. We

have a little something in common there. There are a lot of people who

I have run across who have asked me about that. It wasn’t just out

of the blue to where I woke up and wanted to do a song with Willie Nelson.

It’s like people who’ve approached me like, ‘Have you ever thought

about doing a song with Willie Nelson?’ I want

to pick your brain a little bit more; I’ll let you go in a min. On

420 you have a skit called “Twitta,” do you have an actual Twitter


Devin: [laughs] Well,

you know, the people at the label twisted my arm, man. It was like,

‘You have to do a Twitter, Devin. That’s the way of the world. It’s

the sign of the times; you just can make it without Twitter.’ That

type of shit, so I got a Twitter account. It’s called TheRealDevin420. One more

random question, one of my favorite tracks is “Write & Wrong,”

I’ve always wanted to know its back story. Is it a purely conceptual

album, or did something like that actually happen to you?

Devin: There was a time

when I was getting approached a whole bunch about making it in the Rap

game. ‘What should I do, Devin? I got these hot tracks and I want

to get signed to y’all label. I want to do this; I want to do that…’

So, that just brought about it. Hey, if I write a song about it

I wouldn’t have to talk about it too much, or be approached with it.

They’ll hear the song and that’ll be a reference to ‘and I won’t

have to say nothing no more. (laughs)

(Erupts with laughter) I can’t stand you!

Devin: That was pretty

much it. I just wrote a song about a lot of artists that was pretty

much in the same boat that I was in, you know, still tryin’ to make

it. They wanted some advice, so that was my advice, at the time.

What would you like to say to your supporters? 

Devin: I appreciate

the support of not only, Suite 420, but for all the support over

the years since ’93. That’s where the bulk of my fans come from.

They’ve been around since then and I appreciate that. It’s coming

from the heart, coming from the Odd Squad, coming from the Coughee Brothaz

and everything we’ve done since then. You’re the reason why we’re

here doing what we do and trying to keep coughee sippin’.