Mike Dean is a veteran hip-hop producer and multi-instrumentalist from Texas.
Dean is known to play guitar, bass, cello, piano and keyboard on productions and has served as a guitarist and keyboard for both Kanye West and Travis Scott on studio albums and on tour in live performances.
His started his music career as a musician playing keyboards in the studio and on stage for Mexican-American artist, Selena.
He eventually began making beats, mixing, mastering, engineering and producing, pioneering the Dirty South sound in the 1990s.
During that, Dean worked with artists from Rap-A-Lot Records artists such as Scarface, Do or Die, Tha Dogg Pound, Nate Dogg and Outlawz.
He also worked with the likes of 2Pac.
In the 2000’s, Dean started working with Kanye West.
He contributed to mixing West’s album The College Dropout (nominated for Album of the Year and Best Rap Album categories at the 2005 Grammy Awards) and Late Registration, which won Best Rap Album at the 2006 Grammy Awards.
Dean subsequently contributed as a producer on Kanye West’s Graduation, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Yeezus, The Life of Pablo and Ye (earning both production and writing credits on the majority of the tracklist for the last two).
He also co-produced on West’s collaboration with Jay-Z Watch the Throne.
From there, he went on to mix, produce and master hip hop music for artists like Travis Scott, Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Frank Ocean, Ty Dolla $ign, 2 Chainz, Kid Cudi, Migos, Pusha T, Christina Aguilera, Nas, Madonna, Smokepurpp, Gorillaz, and more.
Dean launched his own label, M.W.A. in 2017.
He is listed as having more production and writing credits on Travis Scott’s 2018 album Astroworld than anyone other than Scott himself.
In an interview with MBW in April 2020, Dean said that being asked to name his proudest record he’s ever worked on is “a really hard question” to answer.
Said Dean “Like, back in the nineties, Smile, by Scarface and 2Pac [1997, No. 12 in the US]; in the 2000s, probably Stronger by Kanye [2007, No.1 in the US and UK, from the album, Graduation (also No.1 in the US and UK) and the first Kanye record on which Dean was credited as a producer, having previously contributed to the mixing on The College Dropout and Late Registration]; and in the 2010s it would have to be something with Travis Scott – Stop Trying To Be God, I think [from 2018’s Astroworld, another US No.1].”