TOP 5 DEAD OR ALIVE: Devin The Dude

Devin, what the f*** are

you doing? Here's what he’s doing; he is contemplating which MCs are in his Top 5 Dead Or Alive! Regarding

MCs, I want to get your Top 5 Dead Or Alive. Please, tell me who made

your list and why. 

Devin The Dude: Well,

you know how that is, that changes a lot. Once you finish making your

list and you give it some thought, you’ll think about some more artists

and MCs that you like. You’ll think, damn, he was up there, too! That’s

always been hard for me. I’ve been a fan of Hip-Hop since the very

early ‘80’s. My s*** has accumulated and sometimes I’ll forget.

I’ll give you roughly, my Top 5.


With Number 5, I’ll

go with Jay-Z. At the time when he first came in the game it was like

the early ‘90’s, the early to mid-‘90’s. He came in when there

were a lot of heavy hitters out. At that time right there, being lyrical

is what you had to be. There was no way around it! There was no faking

the funk. You couldn’t do that half-steppin’, and just be saying

some s***. You had to be accountable. He came through at that

time and he was good. He didn’t let go at all. Still to this day,

he can go in the booth and rip up some s***. At the time, it was just

a matter of holding your own. And he was one of them MCs that could

hold his own. He’s proven that with longevity.


Number 4, I’ll say

MC Shan. He was one of the artists to me that made me pay attention.

He made me listen and almost see the story that he was saying. He would

tell a story like, “Left Me Lonely,” and “Project Ho,” and songs

like that. You could almost see the people and the places he was talking

about when he was rapping. That always stuck with me. He painted a vivid

picture. Back then, he was one of the people who started me wanting

to rap. 


Number 3, I would say

Slick Rick. Wow! He continued that legacy [of storytelling]. When Slick

Rick came along, I thought it was pretty much over with. He was brighter!

You were actually almost there with him instead of looking at him. You

know, “Children’s Story,” and “Hey Young World,” songs like

that, it was like you were like right there with him. If MC Shan made

me start rapping, I guess Slick Rick made me continue it.

I started wearing Kangol’s

because of Slick Rick. He came first with the fur Kangol, too. I didn’t

totally bite his style; because, I had different kinds of Kangol’s,

too. He pretty much had the fuzzy one all the time, and stuff. But,

I made sure that I didn’t get too far from it. Slick Rick, you know,

he was my guy. I wasn’t really rapping then; I was still kinda just

deejaying and break dancing. I was a music listener and lover then,

but I’ve always had Slick Rick around. 


Number 2, I would say

the homie, Nas. Not only is he one of the great men with the lyrics—he’s

painting the picture—you can see him. When MC Shan raps you’re there

with him. It’s like how Slick Rick did, too. When it comes to his

rhymes, sometimes you can be there with him and sometimes y’all can

be together. With Nas’ music and the stories that he tells, it seems

like you and him are together, looking at something else. It was a blessing

just to be able to do song with him. He was a part of my project, too.

That was one of the greatest things that’s ever happened in my career,

too. I got a chance to meet him and he was likewise appreciative of

my music. That kinda really did a whole lot for me, you what I’m saying.

Just like meeting Dre and meeting

Snoop, being involved with Scarface, Too Short, De La Soul, artists

like that; they appreciate me. They got some nice music, and they actually

appreciate what I did. Nas is one of those artists. He’s

not only one of my favorites, he’s a lot of people’s favorite artist.

You know, Nas, he knows what he’s doing. He represents to the fullest

as far as Hip-Hop. He’s done a lot for Hip-Hop. Just to be involved

with Nas on any project is a wonderful thing. 


My number 1, I guess

would be T-La Rock. He has a song called “It’s Yours.” He has

other songs, too. He was like, my favorite MC. Back in the day, when

the songs was pretty much like, ‘throw your hands in the air,

and wave ‘em like you just don’t care—say, ho.’ There really

wasn’t that much lyrical stuff going on. He was one of the first artists

that came along and just started coming with huge words that made sense;

he also came with a rhyme pattern, and a cadence which showed he could

rap. The way that he would say these words would be crazy! It was crazy;

hardly nobody was doing it at the time. When he came on the scene, he

changed the whole vocabulary of rapping. He was innovative; he changed

things! That’s what made me say, okay, Rap is here and it’s not

going nowhere for a long time.


Click here for's interview with T La Rock.

"Its Yours" - T La Rock