In particular Nardwuar fashion, the Canadian journalist dug deep into the depths of Houston hip hop history in a recent interview with OG Houston producer/engineer Mike Dean.
Now known for his work with Kanye West, Jay-Z, Big Sean, Travis Scott, Kanye West and Desiigner, Dean’s name for old school Southern rap heads, Dean’s name is synonymous with his early 1990s tenure with UGK, the Geto Boys and Rap-A-Lot Records.
Pulling from his bag of tricks a dated picture of Dean with his first-produced group The Def Squad (which predates Erick Sermon, Redman and Keith Murray), tape of sexually explicit female rapper Choice’s The Big Payback and the vinyl of the pre-Scarface Ghetto Boys’ debut single “Car Freaks.”
“[The Getto Boys] are the base of Houston music,” he says, “the base of really all Southern music, everything that they are doing now.”
Dean helped shape the sound of Houston rap music, producing and engineering for the likes of Menace Clan, 3-2, Scarface and Gangsta Nip. Nowadays, he’s working with the G.O.O.D. Music as well as other A-listers Madonna, Beyonce and The Weeknd. He has five Grammy awards for producing and co-writing tracks with West. He mixed and mastered Jay Z and Kanye West’s album Watch The Throne and also co-produced the track “Niggas In Paris.”