When: Mon., May 24, 9:30 p.m. 2010
Devin the Dude, hip-hop's original lonely stoner, has made poignant pot rap for nearly two decades. His best stuff—"Doobie Ashtray," "No Longer Needed Here," everything from 2004's To Tha X-Treme—chillaxes in that uncomfortable spot between hilarious and depressing. Imagine a self-aware Kid Cudi with skills or a Snoop Dog that's totally disinterested in Billboard.
The Dude's formula—self-deprecating rhymes with weed as a metaphor for any and everything, over rolling funk beats—has mostly stayed the same. But since he left Rap-A-Lot, his label of 15 years, his work has been relatively bummer-free and less penetrating. The stuff that once riled Devin up (triflin' females, the rising price of an eighth) and got him pontificating now just has him cracking jokes.
Live, though, Devin's always been about good vibes. He's strangely charismatic on stage, floating through his cult hits like a pro—unexpected, given his scrappy, weedhead persona. "Still wreck the show, though I get faded," he brags on "Still Comin" off Suite 420 (which dropped on April 20, natch). When he stumbles into town with his kush-loving crew The Coughee Brothaz, we'll see if he lives up to that modest boast. —Brandon Soderberg
Price: $12 in advance; $14 at door