I had been listening to him for almost a decade before I knew who he was. It was Scarface's Diary and Devin the Dude sang the tune "don't believe that song, gangstas don't live that long." It was a short part but most of The Dude's guest spots are. He only sings a hook or spit a few bars. He has a slow flow that insinuates he's high as he raps which fits nicely since most of his songs are about searching for a high.
In my yearning to say here we go again another rapper who need his weed, money and sex, I have to give Devin the Dude some merit for the way he goes about it. He explicitly explains he is not condoning his behavior, he's only telling you what works for him; in turn, find what works for you.
On his first album simply titled The Dude, Devin explores the trivial day to day tasks of jobless potheads, probably why I missed it, although one of his most powerful songs comes from that album. "Do Whatcha Wanna Do" was a hit in the Hip Hop world because it accentuates the conscience mind of most people (not just hip-hip-hoppers) who delve into vice and live with the battles of the real world saying - you're going to hell!
His second effort Just Trying Ta Live, showcased his strong points. Devin doesn't have the best voice, he's no Luther, but he does offer a very mellow and laid back harmonic flow when he sings that fits perfectly over his beats. Doobie Ashtray is a perfect example of this. Don't be swayed by the song's initial content where he sings about the party being over and someone stealing his last doobie. If you look beyond what you will see is he is talking about living a life surrounded by people almost in cloud of smoke and when the smoke clear, you're really alone. How will you deal with the reality?