Devin The Dude Explains How Without Scarface, He Would Have Rapped A Lot Less
Devin The Dude and Scarface are two Houston, Texas icons who are credited with helping elevate Southern Hip-Hop and making it as competitive as any other city on Rap’s map. Both born in 1970, the two are equally synonymous with Rap-A-Lot Records, where ‘Face found a home with Geto Boys in the 1980s and where Devin released music for well over a decade, first with his group Odd Squad (now known as Coughee Brothaz) and Scarface’s Facemob group. Much like Scarface did in 1991, Devin eventually branched out as a solo recording artist with 1998’s The Dude. Devin’s solo career continues to this day, and he dropped his ninth LP, Acoustic Levitation, on March 10.
His nearly 20 years in the game as a solo act he credits entirely to Scarface, who he says first urged him to step outside of his comfort zone and work on music without Odd Squad. In a recent interview with HipHopDX, he says, “I didn’t even want to do a solo album, but Scarface asked me to do one…I wasn’t sure because I had always been part of a group. I’d always loved groups. I used to be a part of break-dancing groups all the time and Rap crews. I was always about power in numbers, but he was kind of adamant about me going solo.”
Devin says ‘Face even allayed his fears of causing animosity with his Odd Squad mates, Jugg Mugg and blind DJ Rob Quest. According to The Dude, Scarface urged him to go solo because he really believed people wanted to hear more from him. “Even [J. Prince] from Rap-A-Lot asked about it too,” he recalls. “I went to the Odd Squad and asked my group members what they thought. They were real cool and down with it. I was really thankful for that. Ultimately my solo album started sounding like it would with [Odd Squad] because they were always involved with it anyway.”
Scarface appeared on and produced Devin’s solo debut, which debuted in the Top 200. That same year, Devin appeared on Scarface’s My Homies single, “Fuck Faces.” They were joined by another one of The Dude’s influences, Too Short:
Though he now releases music on his very own Coughee Brothaz Music, it’s evident Devin is appreciative of his former label. “My time at Rap-A-Lot was real fun and I gained a lot of experience. It was just a great ride with Rap-A-Lot. It was a very wonderful road.”
Devin’s Acoustic Levitation, his first LP in more than three years, features both Rob Quest and Jugg Mugg on the song “We High Right Now.”
#BonusBeat: For those who have never heard Odd Squad’s album, here is a spoonful:
The song’s lead MC and producer is Rob Quest.