Mike Dean (record producer)

Michael George Dean (born March 1, 1965) is an American hip hop record producer, audio engineer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist from Angleton, Texas. He is best known for recording and mixing songs and synthesizers for major artists across the American hip hop industry such as Kanye West, 2Pac, Scarface, Travis Scott, 2 Chainz, Jay-Z, Desiigner, Drake, and The Weeknd. He released his second studio album, 4:22, on April 22nd, 2021.

Mike Dean
Birth nameMichael George Dean
Also known as
  • Freaky Dean
  • Vador
Born (1965-03-01) March 1, 1965 (age 56)
Angleton, Texas, U.S.
  • Record producer
  • audio engineer
  • songwriter
  • multi-instrumentalist
  • Guitar
  • keyboards
  • piano
  • bass guitar
Years active1983–present
Associated acts


Mike Dean started doing collaborations with numerous Texan artists, including Selena, for whom Dean served as musical director and producer. He is of Mexican descent. Dean first became widely known for pioneering the Dirty South sound in the 1990s, particularly in work for artists from Rap-A-Lot Records.[1][2] Dean has most notably worked alongside Scarface of the Geto Boys, Do or Die, Tha Dogg Pound, Yukmouth of the Luniz, C-Bo, Nate Dogg, Tech N9ne, UGK, Z-Ro, Devin the Dude, Outlawz, and 2Pac.[3]

Dean went on to mix, produce, and master widely throughout American hip hop. He has become known for producing work with Kanye West. After initially contributing to the mixing of West's albums The College Dropout and Late Registration, Dean contributed as producer on West's Graduation, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Yeezus, The Life of Pablo, and Ye albums.[4] He also co-produced with West on his collaboration album with Jay-Z, Watch the Throne. Dean was an additional producer on "Mercy" and "Higher" on GOOD Music's 2012 compilation album Cruel Summer. Dean has made particularly heavy contributions on West's last albums, and is credited on most tracks.

In recent years, Mike Dean has served as a regular guitarist and keyboardist for Kanye West and Travis Scott at their live performances, headlining numerous music festivals, the Watch the Throne Tour, the Yeezus Tour and Travis Scott's Birds Eye View tour as well as the Astroworld - Wish You Were Here Tour. Dean has also been a frequent collaborator with Travis Scott. Dean's production has appeared on every one of Scott's musical bodies of work from 2013 to the present. In 2016, Dean mastered Frank Ocean's visual album Endless, wrote and produced tracks on Desiigner's mixtape New English, and produced Desiigner's single "Tiimmy Turner".[5][6]

In May 2017, Dean announced he was launching a record label by the name of M.W.A.[7] When asked what made him decide that now would be the best time to unveil his new record label, Dean responded: "Just a lot of new young artists that's been asking to get down with me and have me work on their projects and help them get deals. I figured I'd start a label and sign some new acts. Seems like a good time to start it. I got a studio out here [in Los Angeles] and I'm able to meet a lot of new artists."[7] When asked the meaning of M.W.A, Dean answered: "That's just what I call myself when I DJ. Mexican Wrestling Association. It's something that I've done with the merch, so I just figured I'd keep the name going."[7] He also revealed Dice Soho the first artist he signed to M.W.A: "One of my homies Gustavo Guerra brought [Dice Soho] to me. I think he's gonna be the next wave out of Houston. I picked him up. Dice has a nice swag."[7]

He released an instrumental mixtape, 4:20, on April 20, 2020.[8] On May 20, 2021, the Lana Del Rey single "Wildflower Wildfire" was released, which was produced by Dean. In an interview with Anthony Fantano before the song's release, Dean said that he was "planning on working with [Del Rey] a lot".[9]


List of studio albums
Title Album details
  • Released: April 20, 2020
  • Label: N/A
  • Formats: digital download, streaming
  • Released: April 22, 2021
  • Label: MWA Music
  • Formats: digital download, streaming

As featuring artistEdit

Production discographyEdit

1980s Def Squad, Texas


































Awards and nominationsEdit

Grammy AwardsEdit

Year Nominee / work Award Result Ref.
2005 The College Dropout (as engineer/mixer) Album of the Year Nominated [13]
2006 "Gold Digger" (as engineer/mixer) Record of the Year Nominated
Late Registration (as engineer/mixer) Best Rap Album Won
Album of the Year Nominated
2008 Graduation (as engineer) Nominated
Best Rap Album Won
"Good Life" (as songwriter) Best Rap Song Won
2012 My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (as engineer/mixer) Best Rap Album Won
2013 "Ni**as In Paris" (as songwriter) Best Rap Song Won
"Mercy" (as songwriter) Nominated
2014 "New Slaves" (as songwriter) Nominated
2015 "Bound 2" (as songwriter) Nominated
2016 "All Day" (as songwriter) Nominated
Beauty Behind the Madness (as producer) Album of the Year Nominated
2017 Lemonade (as producer) Nominated
Purpose (as producer) Nominated
"Famous" (as songwriter) Best Rap Song Nominated
"Ultralight Beam" (as songwriter) Nominated
2019 "Sicko Mode" (as songwriter) Nominated

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Mike Dean On Working With Selena, Scarface And Kanye". Retrieved 2015-08-30.
  2. ^ Pablo, J. "Kanye Producer Mike Dean Talks Yeezus". Retrieved 2015-08-30.
  3. ^ HipHopDX. "Producer's Corner: Mike Dean". Retrieved 2015-08-30.
  4. ^ "Beat Construction: Mike Dean". Retrieved 2015-08-30.
  5. ^ Schwartz, Danny (28 June 2016). "5 Producers You May Not Know On Desiigner's "New English"". Hotnewhiphop. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
  6. ^ Boykins, Austin (29 June 2016). "Desiigner Teases Upcoming "Timmy Turner" Track With Mike Dean". Hypebeast. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
  7. ^ a b c d "Mike Dean Talks Launching New M.W.A. Label & Signing First Artist Dice Soho". Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  8. ^ Strauss, Matthew. "Producer/Multi-Instrumentalist Mike Dean Releases New Mixtape 4:20". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2020-04-21.
  9. ^ Newstead, Al (21 May 2021). "Surprise! Lana Del Rey just dropped three new songs". Triple J. Retrieved 23 May 2021.
  10. ^ Narozniak, Rachel (2020-08-10). "Carnage, The Martinez Brothers, Elderbrook, and Mike Dean get 'Together' [Stream]". Dancing Astronaut. Archived from the original on 2020-08-19. Retrieved 2020-08-19.
  11. ^ "Sherm – Sherm Smoke". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-05-17.
  12. ^ "Listen To Kid Cudi's Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin' Now". Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  13. ^ "Mike Dean". GRAMMY.com. 15 December 2020.

External linksEdit