Happy 15th Anniversary to Devin The Dude’s 3rd studio album To Tha X-Treme, initially released July 13, 2004.

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There aren’t plenty of artists the end there choose Devin “The Dude” Copeland. Together a gifted artist through a laid-back delivery and smooth vocals, he’s equally skilled as both a rapper and also a singer. He possesses panache a la Slick stack while keeping the intelligence a la Scarface. He deserve to be at the same time slyly humorous and deeply introspective. He is a skilled storyteller who can capture all types of moods. And he’s a understand at make albums the navigate both deep and also entertaining subject issue without ever before feeling strained. Devin is all of these points and much more on To Tha X-Treme, may be the biggest album in his considerable catalogue.

Devin obtained his begin on Rap-A-Lot Records, the Houston-based label operation by the notorious James “Lil’ J” Smith. Finest known as the original house of the Geto Boys, the brand was a delivery an equipment for Houston’s best and also brightest hip-hop talent. Devin an initial appeared together a member the the odd Squad, who Fadanuf Fa Erybody!!! was exit in 1994. Amidst publication by hardcore legends choose Scarface, Gangsta N-I-P, huge Mike, and also the fifth Ward Boyz, the jazzy, acting out relax was a bit of an oddity.

Devin briefly became a member the the Scarface-led Facemob before splitting turn off on his very own as a solo rapper. He released the critically acclaimed and slept-on The Dude in 1998, adhering to it up v Just Tryin’ Ta Live (2002) a few years later. In-between, the earned significant respect from a dedicated fanbase and also his peers, including countless of hip-hop’s best and also brightest. Significant rappers started enlisting the to appear on their records, both because that his lyricism and singing ability; he showed up on monitor by Dr. Dre, De La Soul, UGK, and also many others between the so late ’90s and early ’00s.

By 2004, Devin was one of the last artists stand on Rap-A-Lot. The Geto guys were essentially defunct, and also Scarface specifically had moved top top to run Def Jam South. Devin stayed loyal come James “Lil’ J” Smith and continued come record top quality product. To Tha X-Treme was Rap-A-Lot’s best releases the the ’00s and also one of the ideal albums of 2004.

Opening To Tha X-Treme with the one-two beat of the location track and also “Cooter Brown” displayed Devin’s versatility. “To Tha X-Treme” is just one of his numerous odes come his penchant for getting stoned the end of his gourd. Over the mellow G-Funk-esque wail the synths and pianos, the proclaims to be “higher 보다 a thumb-tack top top a flyer that Reba McEntire in the hood” and also brushes off criticisms of his character, noting “Some n****as think ns soft, so they shot to harass me / some think i’m smart, part think i’m dumb, some think I"m trashy / questioning me who got that good-good shit I more than likely know.”

Devin then immediately follows with “Cooter Brown,” a thoughtful exploration of battles with alcohol abuse. Play off that a polite War-era term for drunkenness, Devin displays an excellent insight as he considers his alcoholism and also how it impacts his life and relationships v others. End a sped-up sample the Willie Hutch’s “Now the It’s all Over,” that laments exactly how alcohol abuse turn him into persona non grata, rapping, “Look at me currently it seems that everybody know / where I been and also even wherein I gotta go / and they’ll try to help me out if it would benefit them / however if not they"ll most likely be like fuck him.” In the end Devinhas the self-awareness to know that he’s the cause of his own troubles, make the song the finest hip-hop illustration of Intervention ever recorded.

As a gifted storyteller, Devin frequently finds incentive in the mundane details that life, imbuing them through humor and also wisdom. Devin offers “Right Now” to information his suffer taking Ecstasy when on a cross-country flight. Apparently motivated by a real-life experience, he encounters surly passengers and also reminisces on gift so high that he “can feel the breeze,” i beg your pardon is an superior feat while flying a advertising airliner.

I’d likewise imagine that Devin is the very first emcee come invoke the wit and also wisdom that Br’er Rabbit, together he walk on “Briar Patch.” Devin’s clever take it on managing confrontation is quite creative. The song plays together a first-person account the Devin attempting come out-smart a team of potential attackers ~ above the roadways through emotional means.

On “Go hit Some other Crime,” Devin details his interaction with a police officer that pulls the over because his “dog smelled marijuana from the inside of my car.” as well as it being a smooth track the treats a serious situation with actual flashes that humor, the an practice in flawless sound mixing and also editing, together it creates the scene around the traffic avoid perfectly, native Compton’s most Wanted playing out that the auto stereo to the officer’s dog persistently barking in the background to the ambient traffic noise.

Though Devin engages in several girl chasing throughout To Tha X-Treme, he also devotes two songs to handling the consequences of infidelity, also in a humorous manner. Top top “What?” Devin consistently attempts come hide his indiscretions, both past and also present, native his current girlfriend, only for she to revolve the tables top top him once they vacation in Jamaica together. “She’s Gone” is Devin’s lamentation over the love that his life presumably leaving him, for what that imagines is because of his very own infidelities. It’s often maudlin in a fully tongue-in-cheek manner, and features no one, however two “twists” in ~ the end.

Many various hip-hop tracks have actually been recorded about the virtues of smoking marijuana, and Devin has recorded plenty of of them. However, I keep that “Motha” is just one of the ideal odes to an excellent green the has ever been recorded. Several of it needs to do with the music backdrop, created by longtime collaborator Domo and also D-Boy. That light and spritely in feel, featuring floating piano notes and also a skanking guitar and also percussion that give the track a reggae flavor. In regards to content, Devin regales the audience with tales the partaking in an effective weed with several of his closest fictitious friends, consisting of his mexico potna Malito, Rastafarian Notty Dread, and also Cleofis, a former soul singer.On its own, it’s no revolutionary content, but Devin presents it through a charm that renders the tune absolutely infectious.

Devin yes, really does have actually vocal chops, and he showcases them right here on “Anythang.” produced by Cory Mo, Devin mournfully croons end a loop the the piano intro from rick James’ “Hollywood,” creating an ode to learning just how to deal with emotional pain and staying motivated in the confront of adversity. It’s as soulful and moving as any kind of hip-hop track featuring a rapper singing.

And occasionally Devin just cuts loose. “Tha Funk,” special Memphis hip-hop pioneer 8-Ball, is Devin’s dedication to offering the uncut funk top top record. The track stays up come its name, filled with truly funky live instrumentation, including “Bass, keys, board, command / Drums the explode and also make her earlobes bleed.” Meanwhile, “Party” is an authentic tribute to the old school. Longtime Rap-A-Lot affiliates K.B. And also Man Child join Devin, rhyming end a loop the Kano’s “I’m Ready,” transforming the track into a salute tothe type of hip-hop produced to keep home parties and discos rocking, complete with call and responses, as well as references to “Rapper’s Delight” and Beat Street.

To Tha X-Treme ends on an even more positive keep in mind with “Unity,” a feel-good track about accepting differences in others and learning to thrive as a human being. Devin straddles the line between goofiness and sincerity favor no other, as he raps, “But friend can far better yourself by listening to rather / and what they gained to sell treat them favor sisters and also brothers / Love them even though you refuse sometimes / we all have actually faults; I know I got mines.” And, since he’s Devin, the reminds listeners that smoking great weed deserve to make it less complicated to communicate with others.

Devin still goes strong without abatement, also after leave Rap-A-Lot. By every accounts he’s a constant presence in the studio, and has released at the very least eight much more albums since To Tha X-Treme. Just a mainly ago, he released Still rojo Up: Something to Ride With without any kind of hype or warning, and also it’s a solid entry right into what’s shame up to become of the many unheralded yet impeccable discographies in hip-hop.

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Devin continues to showcase his capability to get more mileage the end of tried-and-true subject matter. It’s great to recognize that Devin can effortlessly release albums in the vein the To Tha X-Treme that stay their own unique entities. There might not be many albums choose To Tha X-Treme, however Devin has actually proven time and also time again that he can develop on his imaginative success.

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