Devin The Dude
Waiting To Inhale
Everyone has their own opinions. I can respect that - to each their own, as the saying goes. That doesn't mean I can respect the opinions of others. So what opin's can lead to swift dismissal from me? Listening to a Devin The Dude album and not becoming a fan. For really, rappers just don't get more likable than The Dude. On his classic "Who's That Man, Moma?" he told us "look at these balls, they're so big/the hairs on'em look like two big old afro wigs," a line made infinitely funnier when heard with his sleepy, smoked out drawl. Devin's often self-depreciating humor coupled with never ending clamoring for pussy and weed never gets old, cause he just does him so fucking well.
Much like 2004's To The X-Treme, The Dude has displaced some of his delightful juvenilia with an increasing amount of serious, "real" content. Not to say he is turning into Chuck D - he manages to keep it light-hearted even when speaking on say, real relationship issues as opposed to just trying to break off his third leg. Something tells me some people new to Devin are going to pick up this album based on the first singles and be in for a very, very rude awakening. Rude being the operative word here. "What A Job," featuring Andre 3000 and Snoop and more so "Lil' Girl Gone" with Bun B and Lil' Wayne are serious cuts. The former is an honest depiction of the highs and lows of being a rapper, free of either whining or boasting (with Andre stealing the show with a stupid guest spot yet again). "Lil' Girl Lost" is the biggest departure yet from Devin's usual steez as he enlists top notch performances from Bun and Weezy to detail the lives of young women who have taken the wrong path.
Here is where the rude awakening comes in - just the song before "Lil' Girl Lost," Devin raps about catching up years later what that banging chick from high school who is now 300 pounds; "she went from elegant to elephant." "She Usta Be" is tame though, go back another track to "Broccoli & Cheese" and The Dude's claims that "this dick is so clean, you can serve it with some lima beans." He later pens a love letter that is one part Eminem and one part LL Cool J on the hilarious "Just Because": "I've been waitin' to tell you this, for oh so long/and these feelings I have deserve to be in a song/I wish I could just squeeze you, 'til you're out of breath/grab you by your neck and choke you half to death/wish I could kick you in your ass without goin' to jail/or lock in you in the trunk without creatin' a smell."
The only real complaint you could put on Waiting To Inhale is that it is a little too slow and mellow for its own good. No doubt, Devin's albums always have that vibe, which is part of what makes them so dope. I do think that Waiting To Inhale could have used a couple more songs with a little kick to them, particularly near the end when a gentle vibe dominates the second half of the album - even just at the pace of one of the album's best tracks, "Hope I Don't Get Sick A Dis." Fortunately, this doesn't make the album less enjoyable; it's just that it could've have made it better. Devin has knocked out yet another great album, giving him four dope albums in the last decade - something very few can claim.