Photo by Jeff "Emcee Oroville" Shaner

Life Advice from the Dude

I believe in the Dude, 100 percent.

For over a decade and through four solo albums, plus a handful of group collaborations, the animated MC from Houston known as Devin the Dude has always filled his rhymes with a level of honesty and wisdom that most rappers are scared to embrace. He admits to putting $5 in the tank and buying a beer with his last few dollars. He gets denied by women, and might tell a lie from time to time. He has vices too, but at the end of the day he’s just tryin’ to live and make the best of what he’s got.

During his one night stay in Sacramento for a performance with Bun-B, we caught up with Devin at the beginning of a two-month excursion that will take him from New York to Alaska and everywhere in between. With a new album dropping on April 1 alongside his group the Coughee Brothers entitled Smoke Sessions Vol. 1, and in the wake of splitting with his label of 15 years and venturing out independently for the first time in his career, there was plenty to talk about. However, we took a left and decided to hit up our friends to ask the Dude for some life advice. He abided, as any Dude of honor would, and the result”¦well, take heed. And of course, keep an eye out for Smoke Sessions Vol. 1.

Devin is the truth.

First, I had a homie fly to go see a girl he messed with or whatever, thinking he was gonna go down there and it was gonna be on. Anyway, he got there and everything was cool. They start kissing and whatnot, and then she springs it on him that she has a boyfriend. What would have been the proper way to handle that situation?
Awwww man, that shoulda been handled before he got the ticket and left. You gotta get that understood before you spend time and money and emotions. Sometimes an old fling ain’t what it used to be, both of you pretty much know each other’s conversation and emotions can get lost. Sometimes you just gotta let em know that when you get back that way to see them there is gonna be something in it for them too. It can’t just be I’m gonna come down there, rekindle some shit, and you gonna give me some pussy [laughs]. You gotta come with something: a night out, or bring something she would remember; an item or conversational piece that y’all shared, and just warm it up before you make that big trip.

Next one, you’ve cheated and you got caught. How do you go about making it up?
Well, that’s a matter of time and how much love that woman has for you. Really, it’s what made you do it. Sometimes there is no excuse, other times you tend not to get treated as well as you’ve been treated before and you venture off. Females, they understand that too, but they just don’t want to say it. A little time will heal a lot, and small gestures here and there will work until things patch up.

Where is the best place in the country to find a woman with no teeth and a heart of gold? And why do these attributes seem to always go together?
No teeth and a heart of gold? There is a nursing home in Houston that I know of that we deliver lunches to, you might be able to find what you’re looking for there. There are plenty of them there [laughs].

What do you do when you’re boy is the weed man, and he’s selling garbage?
You tell him he needs to go down on the prices [laughs].

This is my favorite, how do I tell my boss I don’t respect him anymore?
Land a new job [laughs].

Is pillow talk more dangerous than it is beneficial?
Yes, yes it is. It gets you caught up. The blood rushes to different places in your body, and your brain isn’t really comprehending everything ’cause you’re just going after this one target. There are so many ways to get to it, and sometimes you choose that wrong path and you fuck up everything. You use the wrong word in the wrong line, and everything gets intertwined. But you can get caught up ’cause the women will ask you questions like why do you like this? When you’re laying down it’s hard to come up with the right answers, and while you’re trying to make sure it sounds right, sometimes they’ll read through it and it doesn’t go as well.

I have a friend who lives by the famous adage, ‘Don’t fuck up your fasho pussy, trying to get some more pussy.’ [quoting Devin’s “Fasho” off the 1994 Odd Squad album Fadanuf Fa Erybody] He played by the rules, but his fasho left him.
Ok, well there is no perfect way to keep your fasho pussy even if you don’t try to get some more pussy. Just trying to get some more pussy is one of the most common reasons why people don’t have their fasho. But just keep that same spirit, and the next woman he’ll run across, it will be fine. Just stick to the format. But keeping and fucking over are two different things, so you gotta find out what it means. If you fuck someone over and just dog them and disrespect them, like if you listen to the song, having this lady in the same bed as your woman, that ain’t cool. There are ways to go about getting yours, without getting nothing.

Is it OK to move back in with your baby momma when she wants you, but you don’t want her and your pockets are hurting?
Wow, well man, it’s tough to move in with anyone who wants you and you don’t have any money. If you don’t want her, it won’t last. I would not do it strictly because of money, but if there is any kind of love involved and you feel it might have some chance to grow, you might as well take that chance.

Am I punk for not getting high before this interview?
Oh no, I’m not high either, so we both trippin’ [laughs].

Have you thought about charging for advice?
Well actually I’m about ready to come out with a cartoon with a guy who gives advice to a lot of people who wouldn’t think he would have that advice to give. He kinda shocks them into making them realize the right choices. He has a little help from his friend from another galaxy named Zeldar [laughs]. That’s just a blueprint, we’re still working on some stuff. I still need a lot of advice myself, but if I can convey it good enough and give the right answers, it feels good to give people advice.