Spotlight \

Devin the Dude

Hip-hop's high priest rolls another tasty one on his just-released album, Landing Gear.

What? Known as much for inhaling herbs as he is for spitting verbs, underground hip-hop legend Devin the Dude has unjustly toiled in obscurity for a decade, retaining his mellow flow while others have been angry. But with Landing Gear, the Dude’s fifth album out this week, his commercial luck may just improve. Featuring a guest appearance from Snoop Dogg, Landing Gear showcases Devin the Dude’s sedated rhymes, along with his deft talent for soul-flecked production — munchies not included.

Who? Born Devin Copeland, Houston, TX’s Dude (no relation to Jeffrey Lebowski) honed his rhyming chops as a part of the obscure Southern hip-hop collective Odd Squad before releasing his solo debut, The Dude, in 1998 via seminal Texan hip-hop label Rap-A-Lot.After dropping three more full-lengths for the label — including last year’s critical breakthrough, Waiting to Inhale — Devin the Dude signed with Razor & Tie earlier this year.

Fun Fact: In addition to his solo output, Devin the Dude has collaborated with such hip-hop luminaries as Jay-Z, Dr. Dre, and Andre 3000, earning the sometimes-attributed distinction of being “your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper.”

Now Hear This: Devin the Dude, “I Can’t Make It Home”