Individuals able to pursue an artistic vision while maintaining an uncompromising standard of excellence at work and/or school have always been a mystery to me as a normal, fallible human being. What’s the secret to achieving that crazy level of productivity? Turns out there isn’t one. Judging by Dear Professor, the first feature from studious trio The Dean’s List, you’ve simply gotta hang on for dear life, even when it feels like you’re driving yourself to an early grave. That, and staying positive; despite the stressful subject matter, Boston natives Sonny Shotz and DJ Mendoza, and Jersey representative Mik Beats, take a decidedly upbeat approach behind the boards, slicing and dicing country group The Band Perry’s If I Die Young into a driving backdrop for Shotz’ conversational verses, which find him venting about the relentless grind that threatens to drive him off the deep end just as he’s beginning to see the fruits of his labors. (The magic mushrooms don’t seem to be helping either). Digging this hardworking crew’s genre-blending grooves? Then make sure to download their recently-released The Drive-In mixtape, featuring this standout cut and much more.