Over at Passion of the Weiss, I’ve contributed two writeups on albums that should have made the site’s Top 50 Hip Hop Albums of the Decade list. The first is Devin the Dude’s instant classic, Just Tryin’ Ta Live. Click the excerpt below to read the whole piece.
But while Just Tryin Ta Live extensively chronicles the day-to-day struggles of a man concerned with typical party material, wine, weed and women, it somehow it remains as far away from party music as you can get. That limited topical range might drag in another rapper’s hands, but Devin’s endearing weirdness keeps things fresh. On opener “Zeldar,” Devin is an alien who discovers a patch of strange green trees in a field and decides to smoke them. “Lacville ‘79” is an affectionate tribute to his busted-ass Cadillac, which he keeps despite his complaints because it fits his easygoing lifestyle. “Who’s That Man, Moma?” is a cautionary tale, warning parents not to bring their seeds to a Devin the Dude show, “…unless they want to see some grown niggas shakin’ they bone.”
Stay tuned for my take on Killer Mike’s I Pledge Allegiance To The Grind II later this week.