Kanye West's Producer Mike Dean Resumes Work After Denying Claims He Quit 'Donda'

As Kanye West continues to keep his fans waiting for the release of his much-delayed album, Donda, the rumor mill has gone into overdrive.

Veteran producer Mike Dean was forced to deny speculation that he has quit working on the project, after a series of tweets he had shared over the weekend were interpreted by some fans of him revealing he had walked away.

But Dean showed that he remained very much in work mode on Sunday night, when he took to Twitter to share an aerial shot of his extensive collection of musical equipment, alongside the caption: "Showtime."

Showtime. pic.twitter.com/yH5atCZVJS

— MIKE DEAN! #MWA (@therealmikedean) August 16, 2021

Just hours earlier, Dean shot down rumors he had stepped down from working with West on his 10th studio album, as he shared a host of tweets, including one that read it was "good to be at the house."

"I haven't quit anything," wrote Dean on his Twitter account. "The album continues. Lol. People read too much into tweets. Lol."

Last month, West and his production team moved into Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium—the venue of his two most recent listening parties—to complete work on Donda, which has been hit with a series of delays.

I haven’t quit anything. The album continues. Lol. People read too much into tweets. Lol

— MIKE DEAN! #MWA (@therealmikedean) August 15, 2021

Donda—which was originally scheduled for release in July 2020—had been expected to be made available on July 23, the day after his first Atlanta listening event. It was then anticipated for an August 6 release, after his second event.

West had also hosted a smaller listening party earlier in July in Las Vegas for the album, which features a host of guest stars, including Young Thug, Kid Cudi, Lil Yachty, Lil Durk, Jay Electronica, and The Weeknd, per Pitchfork.

With the revised August 13 release date having come and gone without the album materializing, it is now listed on Apple Music for an August 20 unveiling.

Dean has worked with West on most of his studio albums, including his studio album debut The College Dropout (2004), Graduation (2007), 808s and Heartbreaks (2008) and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010).

In a 2013 interview with NPR, Dean revealed that his greatest career highlight up to that date was working on West's album Yeezus, which was released that year.

"I mean, before that—just the whole Kanye thing," he added. "It's gotten bigger than any of us probably ever thought it would. I think he always knew it was going to be like that, since he was a little kid apparently."

As for his approach to working with West, Dean said: "Just support him... Anything that he asks you to do that you think might be crazy, or nuts, as far as production, usually works out pretty good. He comes with crazy ideas all the time. I'm like, 'OK.' And then I just do it and it usually works out."

He also said that working with West taught him to never accept no as an answer, telling NPR: "It's like a rule with Kanye. Never say no...

"People, like a lot of our tour managers or producers, they'll be like, 'Oh, we can't get this big wall for you for Coachella.' And he's like, 'OK. You're fired. I'll get someone that can get me that wall.'

"That's why our s*** is always so epic. He pushes boundaries. Remember at Coachella when he came out on that lift? It was the lift Michael Jackson used on his last tour. Anyways, he was like, 'I want that lift.' And two people got fired because they couldn't get it. But he finally got that lift."

"Me and Kanye are like a band," Dean added. "That's what he says. He wants me and him to be like a band, just work together for good. That's why I started playing live with him. 'Cause it was frustrating seeing his other bands and stuff."

Donda, which also features an appearance from Jay-Z, is named after West's mother, Donda West, who passed away in 2007 from plastic surgery complications.

Kanye West at "Donda" album listening party
Kanye West is seen at "DONDA by Kanye West" listening event at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on July 22, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Universal Music Group