As a sort of job requirement, successful rappers come with strong personalities, but sheer likeability is rarely the first quality that springs to mind. Nevertheless, Houston's Devin the Dude, often referred to as "your favorite rapper's favorite rapper," has built a long career on being funny, laidback, and approachable on the mic. That, and possessing one of the smoothest flows in the game today.
Devin's latest is Waitin' to Inhale, one of the best hiphop albums of the year, and like his three previous albums, it concentrates on his two favorite topics: women and weed. They're hardly new subjects for hiphop, but Devin's personality—the smooth jester with a gift for narrative—shines throughout, and I'm sure I'm not the only listener who felt by the end of the album that Devin would be one of the most fun friends a guy could have.
One of the album's standout tracks is "Broccoli and Cheese," with the unforgettable refrain, "Girl, this dick is so clean, it'll probably go good with your broccoli and cheese." This not being a typical suggestion in the rap world, I asked Devin where he came up with the idea of proposing steamed vegetables as a side dish for his penis. He starts giggling at the mention of the song: "It was a specific event with this one woman, where you do everything you can to try to please her, and take her out a couple times, and talk to her, but she'd never give you no pussy. It seemed like she loved to go out to eat all the time, but she never gives you no pussy. So it's like, 'Man, my dick is just as clean as those lima beans. Ever thought about eating some of this?'"
As I'm cracking up at the end of his story, Devin is laughing even harder than me, and I get a glimpse of what Devin's world is like (in my imagination): bullshitting, rhyming, smoking his beloved "coughee," making crank calls in redneck voices (hilariously featured on Waitin'), and keeping Dr. Dre and André 3000 on the speed dial. Like I said—the coolest friend in the world.