Musical mentors to J-Stalin and other post-hyphy Oakland acts, the Mekanix lure E-40 into The Chop Shop.
Both releases, however, are merely set-up for an album "coming all the way new," according to Tweed: The Chop Shop 2 (Zoo Ent.), due late July. With a pair of monster lead singles — "Bay Area Perspective" teaming 40, Stalin, Keak Da Sneak, and Turf Talk, and "Money" featuring a vintage verse by Mac Dre recorded at the Garage, alongside fresh contributions from Stalin, Keak, and Bay R&B phenom R.O.D. — Chop 2 is the most ambitious Mekanix project to date, its judiciously matched voices sewn together by the gradual emergence of Dot's rapping alter ego, 4rax.
Oddly enough, 4rax has had airplay outside the Bay, largely from DJ Premier, who's spun several tracks on his SiriusXM show, Live from Headqcourterz, over the past two years. But Dot's only begun sprinkling the conscious thug persona into the mix locally, dropping a very Oakland video, "Kerosene," in January.
"4rax always been there," Dot says. "I just ain't focused on him. But it's at the point where, shit, we done focused on everyone in the Bay, so either I do it now or not at all."
"We've laid the groundwork, but people gotta pay for it this time," he laughs. "But we made it; we're still here."