Devin The Dude - Gotta Be Me

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This LP is sleek and consistently honest. It's simple yet introspective, unruly yet refined. As Devin embraces his many contradictions, he stays true to self.

You can almost picture Devin The Dude blunted out on a black leather couch somewhere rocking out to The Commodores, reflecting on a life filled with women and weed when listening to Gotta Be Me. The Odd Squad rapper’s seventh studio album (and second this year) is laced with mounds of cannabis-appreciation and hilariously crass commentary on females and fornication and -- excluding “When Will I Win,” a pensive ode to the traps of hustling backwards -- nothing else.   

Normally, such contextual limitations signal the onset of redundancy, but in Devin’s case it’s an asset that never depreciates because of his honest contradiction. He proudly accepts being a “dick for hire” on “Come & Go”, because, as he says, “both of our schedules are kind of busy but we manage / Ro scratch that itch and then we leave” then reassures that the relationship is more than just a convenient quickie on the sublime “I Like What U Do”: “You’re my queen to be / and you deserve the best...and everywhere we go / they’ll know you’re not a hoe." The times have changed, but this is the same Devin that was Rap-A-Lot Records' best-kept secret for nearly two decades before going independent.

“Excuse my behavior but right now I need / That other good stuff / I already have weed” he delivers over “No Need To Call’s” breezy backdrop, deriding women that call only to talk. “You’re the reason why I’m leaving my old ways / My black book is gone and I forgot where them hoes stay,” he confesses on the sultry “Gimme Some,” pleading for something more significant. Devin exalts self-assured women who know exactly what they want and are honest about who they are on the mack-mode ready “You So Real,” and holds no regrets against a relationship marred in equal infidelity on “Aint Goin Nowhere.” Then on the thumping “Fuckha” he hilariously informs her new dude about his girl’s scandalous past:

“I’m glad that I had it / You flabbergasted / You got it / You bring that bitch around like I might get mad about it / I doubt it / I’ll admit that bitch fine than a muhfucka / But I hit a few times / So did my other brothers / Don’t let her trick you like she’s gonna let you keep her / Don’t be surprised when you realize that pussy’s getting deeper / Then the freak hit the streets / You search and you look / Now you wish that pussy came with a Blue Book / To let you know how much it’s worth.”

At every turn, Devin The Dude approaches relations and relationships with a crude candidness that grows more endearing with each listen. And while “Jus Coolin’s” synth injections and subtle flutes make for suitable smoke and ride music, the cut is not nearly as potent as title track’s, “Gotta Be Me,” hazy affirmation of his marijuana affection or the faded ramblings on “It’s Going Down” and “I’m High” -- both of which serve as the album’s intro and outro, respectively.

Gotta Be Me is sleek and consistently honest. It’s simple yet introspective, unruly yet refined. As Devin embraces his many contradictions, he stays true to self. However, from an artist that's worked with the likes of Dr. Dre, DJ Premier and his successful self-production, this album lacks the musicality to complement Devin. Instead, the listener gets a lot of G-Funk. The production is solid, it matches Devin's mood, but it does not have the engagement with the music heard on April's Suite 420 or 2002's underground classic Just Tryin' Ta Live. However, music aside, Devin's themes and whimsical nature are on par with his expansive catalog, and he ain't changin'.


  • Benny

    Very Soulful & Funny. Respect From Russia.

  • wheremaweedat

    One of Devin's best Albums. He's the realest dude out there. 5 Stars!

  • wheremaweedat

    One of Devin's best albums! He's one of the realest dudes out there. 5 Stars !!!

  • Jay

    Outstanding Album, fluid lyrical flow with the intelligently clever metaphors we love him for!

  • Filip Peralov

    One of the best albums in his career :)

  • motha

    just had a first listen and damn...the man finnaly chose beats that are on the same level as his lyrics. Was waiting for a worthy follower of his first three albums, waiting to exhale was also nice, but after that..the beats on his albums were to inconsistent. Going to be on heavy rotation this album.

  • Anonymous

    love2smoke while listenin to devin

  • smoov dee

    Dev's pretty cool.... the albums not bad.... no need to call is nice..... 3 stars

  • tia

    Gotta Luv Dev.. Cuz i do.. and I love this Album as well..

  • Ddot Double

    It is pointless to waste any time criticizing someone so awesome...any minute criticism is better served dissing one of the other 95% of artists out there who are complete trash. 5/5

  • Aaron Sanchez

    Love Devin and this album is good but i was still dissapointed. I listen to his older music with snoop and dre like "fuck you", "What a Job", "mo fo me" and "doobie ashtray", he is so much more clever and lyrical in his raps. I was waiting on this G-funk lyrical Devin, although this album is still a thumbs up. "Whatd you say your name was, D-E-V-I-N/ they saw me on the news but the T.V.-be-ly-in./ they got bounty hunters looking for me im wanted for theft/ woman claimed that i came and got they pussy and left/" ^^^I rarely get this on his "Gotta Be Me" album...

  • Andrew

    Devin the Dude is the truth people need to realize this.

  • Jeenyus

    Devin fuckin' rules!!

  • achpe2

    A prime example of an MC being himself. Devin has always had a good vibe and a connection to his music and his audience. Much respect!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • six

    Gotta twist on up!!!! Bangin as always!!

  • enidp

    The way I see it is this way. Anyone that contradicts themselves is good in my book... Its part of the human spirit.

  • Its Um

    Suite 420 was very average and i barely listen to it any more, Tryin' ta live ans waiting to exhale was his best I've ever heard from him.

  • Sheena

    Devin has done it again. Classic Devin, just in time for the winter. I will never have any complaints... The Dude gets all 5 of my stars!

  • FourTrackFiasco

    This album is probably the most cohesive Devin project he's dropped since "Tha Dude Just trying to live." He spent a great deal of effort securing beats the meshed with his laid back persona. His last three projects, while well received, never had that crisp production from beginning to end which you find in his first three albums. Four those of us who've wanted a little more consistency out of a Devin album, this is it!

  • rapalot

    i like the beats but devin the dudes subject matter suffers sometimes . if he went deeper with his lyrics he would be way better OK ALBUM

  • Shawn B

    Average User Rating 4.20, niiiice!!

  • Dosha

    Hahaha!! How fitting that the average user rating is at a 4.20!! Hilarious!!


    This is a great album, love the beats....not sure whats the problem with G Funk beats?! I don't understand the reasoning for only 3 stars, when the reviewer says he likes the album. For me, its another top album to add to his collection!

    • Jugo

      Agreed Str8TXSGee. The production matches Devin perfectly. This reviewer lost their damn mind. Classic Devin in my opinion; nothing more and nothing less. 5 stars.

  • Str8TXSGee

    3 stars...#GoKillYaself If you been listenin to Devin since the beginning wit OddSquad you awready know da boy go hard errtime so you really can't compare one album to the next because he gon give you a lil different taste of his personna here and there. Most of your hip hop artists who bein idolized only wish they could still sound this good and be jammin on like their 10th album. Devin keep doin what you do for your REAL fans and don't be tryin to impress these new bootys wit all dat "skippidydoowopbopdowop" we don't listen to dat shate in TXS!!

  • 718rob

    Nah, 420 wayyyy better.

  • Anonymous

    I buy this right off the bat, no need to read, Devin hasn't disapointed yet.

  • Bo Brady

    better than suite 420.. more mellow smooth sailing topics with beats that do somewhat remind of the good ol Devin on RapaLot days with Mike Dean etc. RAL inhouse production aka when Coffee Brotha no. 1 was all da way in his Zone and on the way to the top of his game and to create more and more underground classics! Yet and still = Please Mr. Copeland go back to Rap A lot and lock urself in the Studio with Mike Dean, Z-Ro, the Coffee Brothaz and a Boat load of weed and make that Magic from Jus tryin ta Live happen again!!!