Green Hip-Hop

Devin the Dude at the Mezzanine.



Probably the best gun for hire in contemporary hip-hop — next to fellow southerners Malice and Lil' Wayne — Rap-a-lot Records emcee Devin the Dude keeps flickering on the national radar, though he's never quite gotten his due. His much-slept-on March release, Waiting to Inhale, included the languid radio hit "What a Job," in which Devin traded slurry rap verses with Snoop Dogg and Andre 3000 about their creative process — which evidently begins with someone rolling up a swisher in the studio, and ends when each man slogs reluctantly home to face the wrath of an unnamed baby mama. Obviously, we're not talking flowery Biggie Smalls verses here, but there's something to be said for a really well-done "common man" rap song, especially one that can hold its own in the canon of hip-hop odes to marijuana. After all, the romance of the all-nighter and the generative powers of drugs are both linchpins in hip-hop — a genre for which the phrase "I see green" is no figure of speech — and Devin the Dude seems to have mastered both. Thursday, July 26 at the Mezzanine with East Bay group Zion-I. 9 p.m., $10.

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