Garage Days re-revisited - Page 2

Musical mentors to J-Stalin and other post-hyphy Oakland acts, the Mekanix lure E-40 into The Chop Shop.

|
()
The Mekanix: Dotrix 4000 and Kenny Tweed.
Photo by Rebecca Willett

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."

Related articles

  • Patronize me

    CAREERS + ED A new site from SF musicians aims to get artists paid for their work — using the oldest idea in the book

  • A benefit series aims to keep the unique Meridian Gallery afloat

  • Shapeshifter

    Oakland Afro-soul veteran steps out her own. Plus: Adios Amigo fights cynicism with Erasable Truth, and other local releases

  • Also from this author

  • Stalin: Darkness Visible

    With his new album, Bay Area boss J.Stalin shines a light on Bay Area rap — and his own 12-year career

  • The secret life of Sylvia Fein

    The 94-year-old painter comes to terms with her surreality in a new retrospective

  • Break on through

    Michael McClure reflects on his "beast language" classic