There's something to be said about having a cult-like following. Rap-A-Lot Records alumni Devin the Dude has grown a very dedicated following of 'high' rollers since his debut album, The Dude, which dropped 19 years ago; since then, he hasn't dropped an LP that didn't chart. His fans were given a reason be thankful this past week when the smoky rapper released his ninth studio album, Acoustic Levitation, a followup to his 2013 LP, One For the Road. Off the bat, it delivers a lot of the same old Devin, in the best way possible.
The sequencing is what makes it such an enjoyable listen. What begins with Devin as a good-guy in his feelings on "Can I" and "Pass That to Me" quickly becomes a headful of stress on "By." Things begin to mellow out, though, and the LP becomes a full-blown downtempo smoke-out on the title track and songs like "I'm in the Galaxy."
We'd be remiss not to mention how jarring the booty call turned auditory horror flick "Apartment #8216"; it creeps in to blow the high before getting back into some more introspective records, like "Due Yo Thang" and "Don't Get Naked," both of which chronicle the downward slide of a relationship.
While Devin's music and production have stayed relatively consistent throughout his career, he's grown. He maintains his 'everyday guy' appeal here, but since his last LP, his relationship and real-life stress have given him more to escape from with herbal medication. It makes Acoustic Levitation feel something like a stress-relieving cipher, a conversation with a good friend you bump into after a few years. (Coughee Brothaz Music)