“For more than a decade, The Mekanix, consisting of producers Kenny Tweed “Tha Great” and 4 rAx, have been making iconic tracks that have redefined the Bay Area’s sound.” – SF Weekly
“The Mekanix are pillars of the Bay Area sound and they’re under-acknowledged” – Sway
“To me, The Mekanix are like the Organized Noize of Atlanta and they haven’t had the big record or recognition to get that love but if you look at every artist that has come out of the bay like J. Stalin, Philthy Rich to Mozzy to Keak the Sneak, they have all been through The Mekanix lab.” – Mistah F.A.B.
For more than 15 years, duo The Mekanix have served as the Bay Area’s one-stop for production, replays with live instrumentation, mixing, and mastering. 4rAx and Kenny Tweed’s The Garage Studios has become a meeting place for West Coast veterans and new sensations alike, and their vaults are a marketplace for a culture driven by collaboration and cosigns.Read more
Like Beats By The Pound were to 1990s New Orleans, The Mekanix are able to constantly create, supplying all acts differently. They have more than 1,000 placements ranging from E-40 and Mac Dre to J.Stalin and Tha Jacka. Accomplished musicians, DJs, and producers, 4rAx and Kenny Tweed steadfastly fix and fine-tune the musical engines coming out of the Bay. Along the way, they have mentored J.Stalin, Beeda Weeda, Philthy Rich, and Shady Nate. Arriving in June, their Under The Hood album presents this pair’s sonic craftsmanship, and their keystone regional role. “You always hear that the Bay doesn’t work together,” says 4rAx, who is also a veteran rapper. “From day one, we’ve been doing albums full of different artists. We’ve been that unified front for the Bay.” From Dru Down to Lil Debbie, Iamsu to C-Bo, The Mekanix bridge the cities, the generations, and the styles of Northern California, one creation at a time.
The Mekanix formed in 2000, taking their name from 4rAx’s family trade, and Kenny Tweed’s love of exotic cars. Both solo producers, each honed his abilities on hardware and later, software. Beginning with the Yamaha QY7 keyboard, Kenny Tweed became an encyclopedia of sounds, drum machines, and ways to manipulate computers in the interest of innovation. 4rAx cut his teeth on the road with Digital Underground and Tha Luniz, DJ’ing large crowds and applying those experiences towards his own music. “We know each others styles; we been producing together for a long time now. It’s like putting a puzzle together,” Kenny Tweed explains. Often creating 10 beats a day, the pair typically begins their sessions in the morning, with one man on percussion, the other on the keyboard. From there, they mix and match instruments and sounds into something greater. Whether stockpiling beats that will be shopped to the likes of Too Short, Philthy Rich, or Shady Nate, or creating custom sessions for clients, The Mekanix stay close to their tools. In the era of the home-studio, Kenny Tweed asserts, “You want to be in a place where you are able to bounce ideas off of people whose opinions matter.” The Garage operates in the heart of East Oakland, not far from where each member grew up.
Over the years, the pair has released statement songs, including mid-2000s hit “Can’t Tell Me Nuthin’,” which celebrated Mac Dre’s artistry with a previously unheard verse alongside J.Stalin and Keak. “A.O.B.,” first pairing Philthy Rich with Too Short (alongside 4rAx) evolved to a video single with two million views. On the upcoming Under The Hood, they symbolically merge some evocative unreleased Jacka rhymes with 32 heartfelt bars by mentor and Tupac affiliate C-Bo. Warehousing the region’s music, The Mekanix are big believers in that area’s under-recognized creativity. “All the artists we keep in our circle, can’t nobody outdo them. We’re surrounded by a bunch of original voices,” Kenny Tweed touts. Just as Beats By The Pound’s work illuminated the differences from a Mystikal, a TRU, and a Fiend, it is the visionary sounds from the Mekanix that celebrate the Trap, the Mob, and all the Bay’s nuanced sounds. Under The Hood video single “On My Hustle,” featuring Iamsu, Keak da Sneak, J.Stalin (plus 4rAx on the hook), embodies their visionary approach to giving a unified Bay the sonic architecture to stand tall.
With an album boasting a who’s who of Bay Area Hip-Hop as well as artists such as Trae Tha Truth and Ras Kass, Under The Hood showcases the care, versatility, and return to musicality that The Mekanix hold so dear. These artistic engineers are now in the driver’s seat.
Bay Area Duo The Mekanix Make Beats for “Cruisin’ and Mobbin’,” Release Track with Husalah, Keak Da Sneak & Turf Talk
Bay Area Production Duo The Mekanix Enlist E-40, Mozzy, Trae Tha Truth On Monumental Under The Hood Album
E-40 and Too $hort Unite Once Again on “2 Hands,” A Track by Bay Area Sound Architects The Mekanix
Bay Area Producers The Mekanix Recruit East Oakland All-Stars Philthy Rich and Mozzy for “Abandonment,” Premiered by HotNewHipHop
Bay Area Sound Architects The Mekanix Unearth a Gem from the Vaults
Production Duo, The Mekanix, Announce New Album Under The Hood for June 3rd via EMPIRE