DEVIN THE DUDE with DJ RAPID RIC , THE ODDITIES and CIRCLE RESEARCH at the Reverb (651 Queen West), Saturday (February 11), 9 pm. $22.50. 416-870-8000. Rating: NNNNN
I'm a bit shocked when Devin the Dude answers the phone while purchasing transmission fluid and antifreeze for his car. From the way the sultry yet hilarious Houston rapper talks and sings on his records, I was positive all he does all day is smoke reefer and chill. In that order.
But if that were true, he wouldn't have pulled off all those cameos over the last few years - solid appearances on big records (most recently Dilated Peoples' Poisonous and the Roots featuring Jean Grae's Somebody Gotta Do It) that pushed his name further than his own solo albums did.
But all the guest spots wouldn't have been possible had Dr. Dre not first reached out to the soulful rhymer a few years back to lend his distinct Southern croon to Fuck You, from the Chronic 2001 record.
Word has it, Dre's currently in the lab laying down his third album, Detox. While he hasn't reached out to Devin for a follow-up quite yet, The Dude tells me that any time the good Dr. needs him, he's ready.
"Man, that would be wonderful," he enthuses over the mobile - car fluids on board - about the prospect of blazing up some new shit with the Aftermath boss.
"I don't wanna bug him or anything, but I'll definitely let him know that I'm still here and I sure wouldn't mind being a part of the project," says the Dirty South misfit.
That said, Dre, if you're reading this, don't think that all Devin's doing these days is maintaining his automobile and waiting for your name to pop up on his caller ID. Actually, he just wrapped up a new record with his Odd Squad, the Houston crew he first burst onto the scene with in 94.
That compilation-style album, the first release on his new Coffee Brothers imprint, will be out later this month.
"It involves the Odd Squad, all the members, and some friends we associate with who come by the studio, who do the same things we do. We enjoy music, man, and love to create songs and smoke a lot of weed," he giggles.
Considering that most Devin records are made under these conditions, it should be pure elixir, hopefully rife with more signature smoked-out hooks and lackadaisical around-the-way tales in the key of Too $hort.
Speaking of making music, the former DJ Screw associate tells me he might even be recording here when he comes through. But his short-term memory is letting him down.
"Actually, I was just asked to do a song with somebody from up there.... I can't remember the name of the artist, but I would love to do some recording in Canada, man."