Although you wouldn't know it by his lustful tale of sex binges on Dr. Dre's "F--- You," there's more to Devin than getting high and bedroom carousing or so he's out to prove with his second LP, Just Trying to Live.
"I'm a little nervous 'cause the last album (The Dude) didn't do too well as far as the sales went," said Devin, who sang three songs off of Scarface's 1998 LP, My Homies, including "F--- Faces." "The listeners were telling me it was good, but we didn't get the exposure."
Devin's hoping that the 6 million people who bought Dre's last album and the tens of thousands who attended the Up in Smoke tour will still remember his Southern twang when he displays his musical maturation with a new album.
The MC, who sings just as much as he raps, has just about finished recording the 14 cuts he selected for the disc but said he still hasn't found the right one for a first single. When the album drops later this year, expect to hear the humorous "R&B" (short for "Reefer and Beer"), in which Devin voices both sides of a role play between him and a hillbilly.
"Here's my version of R&B," Devin said. "It could mean a lot of things, like, 'Rednecks and Blacks, unite.' It would have barely made the album if was up to me, but everybody loves it."
On "Somewhere," Devin sings, "I need to go somewhere, get the f--- away from here." The midtempo ditty showcases the Dude telling of domestic bliss turned hellish as his mate chases him with a butcher knife.
Helping the Houston native in the studio are the Odd Squad (whom Devin debuted with in 1994 on the album Fadanuf Fa Erybody) and UGK's Bun B, who have already laid down vocals. Nas and Goodie Mob's Cee-Lo are set to soon follow suit.
DJ Premier has promised to deliver a track, while Dre's right-hand producer, Mel-Man, has been in the studio with Devin 12 hours a day for the past week. Dre himself is scheduled to hit the boards this week for the track "Yo-Ho."
Devin said it's a good possibility that he and Dre will hook up again for the soundtrack to the movie "The Wash" as well as the Doc's next solo LP.