Cigarettes that is… But he loves Dungeness crab and James Taylor
“I stopped because I had too much weed and cigarettes. A pack and a half a day. So I had a good reason to quit smoking. The other reason was people kept comin’ up like ‘thems women’s cigarettes.’ Everyone would be like ‘my auntie smokes them cigarettes.'”
– Devin the Dude
In 2006 Devin the Dude (Devin Copeland) was hanging out with what would become the 4E founders. It was one of his many trips to Seattle. We had gotten to know Devin at studio sessions with Onebelo, a road trip with Ghetto Prez to Portland to play the Viper Room and a private screening of his documentary. Medication was shared, in staggering quantities and after all that he opened up and shared his wisdom about traveling domestically with cannabis onboard.
“I take it back in my dirty socks,” Devin said of airport security avoidance practices. “I got hustles man. I got some tactics, because I had to think of somethin’ to get this Seattle weed back to Houston. I got a big-ass deodorant bottle of Degree, I wound it all the way up and cut most of it off. I threw that away and left the top layer. I stuffed the weed and put the top back on it. It fit real cool and neat.”
His honesty is an unwavering policy. So we thought we’d just give it to you straight.
Q&A. Devin the Dude. Go.
4E: We’ve heard about your love of Northwest Dungeness crab, what’s your favorite place in Seattle to get it?
Mr. The Dude: “I’m from Florida man, grew up in Texas. I had a lot of crab in Florida, and Texas not so much. So Elliott’s (Oyster House on Pier 56), aww man. The best crab cakes in the world. Nah’m sayin, the Dungeness Crab when it’s in season. It’s crazy. So we made a ritual, that every time we come to Seattle we gotta make it a must to go to Elliott’s. We’re goin’ there tomorrow, we were just talkin’ about it.”
4E: Do you have a special relationship with the people out here?
Mr. The Dude: “There’s a lot here in Seattle, and it’s grown over the years since the late 90s, Seattle has been really really cool to me. The weed up here bridged the gap, or whatever that is. I first came here when I started doing my solo stuff. And that was the first crowd that showed me a whole bunch of love. Then Chicago showed a lot of love, D.C. showed a lot of love, Cleveland… But when I came to Seattle it seemed like the lights was already on here. Everybody at the club was on it, and I went back to Texas and told everyone like ‘Man, Seattle!!!…’ So after that I made it a point to keep comin’ back.”
4E: So Benson & Hedges, what’s the story with that?
Mr. The Dude:
“(Singing) Benson & Hedges menthol
Bitches & Hoes, you know how it goes
Smoke all 20 of ’em
Inhaling ’em through my nose”
“I stopped smokin’ two and a half years ago. But those we’re a premium brand (english accent). I stopped because I had too much weed and cigarettes. A pack and a half a day. So I had a good reason to quit smoking. The other reason was people kept comin’ up like ‘thems women’s cigarettes.’ Everyone would be like ‘my auntie smokes them cigarettes.’ I’ve learned there is no such thing as a good cigarette, I don’t think.”
4E: Cannabis as medicine, your thoughts?
Mr. The Dude: “Everybody has cannabinoids in their system or whatever. I believe it’s natural to the point that it’s almost needed. Some people can’t really handle it, all the different grades that’s out there. I believe there is one that everyone can enjoy, that would work out for them. Bein’ health wise it’s just the best way to go. But you know it’s hard to tax so the government is scared of it. If they legalized all across the map, you couldn’t hold it down. It would be everywhere. And people would be like ‘OH, SHIT.’ We’d see a lot more people outta jail, and they don’t want to see that because it might disrupt the cash flow.”
4E: How important were other artists bumping your records on their tour buses to becoming the household name you are now?
Mr. The Dude: “I always felt blessed to be appreciated by artists that I looked up to. See that’s the whole thing. Snoop and Dre were telling me on the first chronic tour they were bumpin’ the Odd Squad stuff.”
4E: James Taylor covers of “Handyman?” Singing to old ladies in elevators? You are really a unique individual…
Mr The Dude: “Growin’ up in Florida we stayed in front of a radio station, and I used to go in the trash can to take old records out. They threw ’em away, even if they just had a small scratch on them. They couldn’t afford to play it on the air like that, so I got all those records. I would DJ at the house for my family. There were so many different varieties of music. And you always felt like there was somethin’ there, in every genre of music… there was a song. You’d be like ‘oh okay, I can jam to that one.’