Hip-Hop Producer (2009)

Mike Dean

One of the key figures behind the "Dirty South" movement that has taken hold of mainstream rap is an unheralded white guy with a country western background. Mike Dean has helped to craft some of the most unique sounds in rap — from Houston's Scarface to L.A.'s Kurupt — while serving as in-house producer for local titan Rap-A-Lot Records. He brought along a deep stable of Houston rappers; he worked with Tupac; he produced the latest offerings from Kanye West and The Game. Dean's style is eclectic and effusive, and hard to generalize, except by his wide-ranging and continuous success.