Devin the Dude

Just Tryin' Ta Live

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Reminiscent of other great storytellers like Slick Rick, Devin the Dude is a true gift to laid-back Southern rap. This is his first real solo LP, and he didn't do it alone, given the presence of Raphael Saadiq, Xzibit, Nas, and Pooh Bear, and a couple of appearances by the Odd Squad. It's obvious that Devin put a lot of soul into this album, and it shows through in deep and reflective stories that evolve slowly through the album. Most of the songs are rather humorous, such as "R & B," which would seem to be about rhythm & blues, but it's really about Devin's need for reefer and beer. "Lacville '79" follows, one of the smoothest tracks on the LP. Again hitting some comedy notes ("I'm rollin', car not stolen, prolly never will be, it's much too olden"), Devin continues to tell a story about how he's happy with his girlfriend because she didn't mind pushing the car when it stopped working. The track titled "Who's That Man, Moma" is equally as amusing. The beats on the disc are smooth and funky, perfect slow-driving music. Devin's style is a mix somewhere between Too $hort and Warren G; he almost sings as he raps and it works wonderfully on this album.

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