Devin Copeland is an underground rap artist who was born in St. Petersburg, Florida. He is more commonly known as Devin the Dude. Copeland was born on June 4, 1970. When he was younger his family moved from Florida to Texas. Copeland spent most of his childhood moving back and forth between Houston and New Boston, Texas. When he graduated from high school Copeland settled in Houston. During Copeland’s high school years he became interested in break dancing. As a result he ended up joining different dance crews. Break dancing provided Copeland a gateway to an interest in rapping. Eventually, Copeland began to focus his attention on becoming a rap artist.
Devin Copeland had many experiences that influenced his music. One early influence was the use of marijuana. Copeland claims that he first tried the drug when he was in the seventh grade while at a skate rink in Texas. Copeland admits that marijuana had a major influence on his music. Devin the Dude is known for his unique rap style. Another important influence for Copeland was meeting the blind rapper and producer Rob Quest in the late ’80s. Together Copeland and Quest formed a music group called the Odd Squad.
The Odd Squad was Copeland’s first step in becoming a professional rap artist. The group also recruited Copeland’s longtime friend Jugg Mugg and a DJ called DJ Screw. It was DJ Screw who managed to get the Odd Squad a record label with Rap-A-Lot Records in 1992. The Odd Squad released their first album in 1994 called Fadanuf fa Erybody. The album was popular among hip hop fans but the album did not do as well financially as the group had hoped. The album did get Copeland the attention of another Rap-A-Lot artist called Scarface. Scarface invited Copeland to be apart of the group called Facemob.
Facemob released an album called The Other Side of the Law in 1996. The group performed well but eventually broke up due to internal issues. At that time Copeland decided to concentrate on his solo career. He focused his attention on completing his solo album called The Dude. With the help of Scarface and Rap-A-Lot Records CEO James Smith The Dude was released in 1998. The album had no video and little radio play. The Dude didn’t become mainstream but gained an large underground following. The Dude even got Copeland the attention of Dr. Dre who invited Copeland to be apart of his 2001 F*ck You album. This debut made Copeland a hot commodity in the hip hop world. Copeland made other guest appearances and released several solo albums during his career. These albums include: The Dude, Just Tryin’ ta Live, To tha X-Treme, Waitin’ to Inhale, Landing Gear, Gotta Be Me and Suite 420.
Despite Copeland’s popular works he is not successful in the mainstream. Copeland has a very large following underground. Some have nicknamed him “Rap’s best kept secret”. Copeland’s work has earned him a net worth of $3 million dollars as of May 2012.