Mike Dean hasn’t been back to the Mercer Hotel since he helped JAY Z and Kanye West record their critically acclaimed — and only — collaborative album to date.
As the story goes, Hov and Yeezy rented out an entire floor of the luxurious lower Manhattan hotel to record Watch The Throne. During this time, the legendary Houston producer practicality lived there, and then moved to Manhattan not long after the sessions ended. However, on this December afternoon he’s here on Dice Soho business — the fresh faced rap upstart he’s hoping to mold into the next hip-hop superstar. After A&R extraordinaire Plain Pat put Mike onto the young rapper’s music, his eyes and ears to the streets, Gustavo, brought Dice to his studio, and their personal connection was instantaneous.
“Run up on Dice the wrong way, I might hurt ya,” Mike says with a laugh as clouds of Cookies smoke flow from his nostrils. Though he’s nearly double the age of his protege, when they are together, it’s like watching two blood brothers goofing around at home. For Dice, he views Mr. Dean as the ultimate musical mentor.
READ: Mike Dean Launches M.W.A. Record Label With Houston’s Dice Soho
“Me and my boys been watching Mike since like our high school days, and the thing I love about Mike is that he always wants to know what’s going on with the [youth] and he’s still tapped into everything,” says Dice about his bond with Mike. Prior to meeting the H-Town icon, Soho built his own buzz with frequent collaborator Trill Sammy through an onslaught of free Soundcloud and Youtube releases.
“I’m from the Southside of Houston that’s why they call me Soho,” Dice tells VIBE. “You know MO City to Herman Clark and back. I’ve actually been making music since I was a little kid, but me and Mike linked up about a year ago and we’ve been rockin’ and shockin’ ever since.”
As this odd couple continues to push forward with Mike’s M.W.A. record label, they are working to release Dice’s debut album later this year. Expect the fellas to make some big anouncements about the project in the coming weeks.
READ: Dice Soho Reaches For The Sky With Mike Dean & Slim Jxmmi On “Goin Up”
“It’s great to watch people come up and help mold their carers,” Mike tells VIBE. “I really took it literal when Kanye said ‘listen to the kids bruh.’ That really means something. I try to keep track of what the kids are doing on Soundcloud, and all the new guys coming up.”
Mike Dean quoatble:
“The old Scarface and JAY Z sessions were always classic. Hip-Hop and Gee Roberson would always roll through, and that’s when I met those guys in the early 90s. One of my favorite moments was when me and JAY Z made a song “For Rhyme or Reason.” It ended up on Reasonable Doubt, but they switched the beat because we couldn’t get clearance from my label.
“Giraffe” is available on Spotify and all streaming services now.