Devin The Dude: Da Ha, Da Ha!

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Devin The Dude: Da Ha, Da Ha!

Devin The Dude's first interview since leaving Rap-A-Lot Records. Your favorite rapper's favorite rapper reveals his plans.

Devin The Dude has been finding his way into significant record collections since The Geto Boys' 1993 posse cut "Bring 'Em On." Finding his way within the Rap-A-Lot clique, the Florida-born, Texas-relocated emcee/deejay and budding producer used sugar, not vinegar to win his listeners over. In an era of abrasive gangsterism, the soft-spoken, often melodic vocalist spoke and sang about simple problems being solved with a bag and bowl or a bra strap and a Budweiser.

As fate would have it, the gangsters respected it. The biggest influences on gangsta rap, Dr. Dre and Scarface, both took a liking to The Dude, and put him on center-stage on their biggest projects (2001 and My Homies respectively). Devin's become more of a Hip Hop household name, but nearly anybody who understands his creativity and message realizes that his lack of mainstream success remains a travesty.

With four solo albums and an Odd Squad group effort under his belt, Devin The Dude formally announced his departure from Rap-A-Lot Records last week - after a staggering 17 years there. Despite a hot album every three year average (I can divide), Devin says he's using his independence to make more music than ever, and welcomes extended opportunity for feature-work. With a handful of laughs, recollections and mild-mannered honesty, the Dude is doing anything but riding into the sunset this early in the movie.

HipHopDX: Congratulations on the independence. As far as not renewing your Rap-A-Lot Records contract, how tough of a decision was that to make for you?

Devin The Dude: It

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