The Break Presents: The Dean’s List
Standout: “Youth” ft. Sid Sriram
Also Check Out: “Dear Professor”
Name: The Dean’s List
Reppin': There are three members of The Dean’s List. Mik Beltran is from Edison, New Jersey and Sonny Shotz and Mendoza are from just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. Mik and Mendoza met in school at Berklee and brought in Sonny, who Mendoza had known in high school, to complete the group. A quick chemistry helped us all develop our sound.
Our style and/or skills have been compared to: Lately a lot of people have mentioned the Watch The Throne album and have been comparing our recent project to that, which is incredibly humbling. We aim for comparisons to Bob Dylan on the lyrical side and try to mimic the depth of his subjects and his approach to word play. On the production side people compare our tracks to Lupe Fiasco’s music and we’ve heard some talk of Florence & the Machine based around the new project. Our sound varies so much from track to track that it’s tough to compare us to one specific artist but each track seems to remind people of different ones.
Our standout records and/or moments have been: We would say that “Hollywood” and “Youth” have been the big standouts off the new album but we’ve seen “Take Shape,” “XXX” and “The Motive” start to build a lot of buzz online as well.
Probably our biggest track to date is “Dear Professor,” which samples The Band Perry’s “If I Die Young,” and at shows people tend to go crazy for “La Vie.”
Our biggest moments have been releasing “The Drive-In” and “Generation X,” which started off at #3 on iTunes Hip Hop charts, obviously a HUGE moment for us.
We also recently did a show with Wiz Khalifa, which was a big moment. We’ve had the chance to open for a lot of big artists, like Kid Cudi in Ocean City, and it is always incredible to have that type of peer valuation. Knowing artists of that caliber like our music is amazing.
We’re gonna change the game by: By doing music that no one has heard before, putting together big concept albums that go beyond hip-hop or any genre and taking our music into that direction of never staying in one lane. We are not afraid to step out of the box musically and we aren’t scared to avoid the typical movements people imitate because we want to create our own experience and expand people’s mind musically.
We’d Like to Work With: Bob Dylan, Skrillex, Jay-Z and Kanye West. It’s an eclectic mix, but they all do music with meaning and have a movement behind them. We want to work with artists who have passion behind their music and don’t just do it to do it. That’s what inspires longevity.
Our goal in hip-hop is: To change hip-hop. We don’t want to be the same as anyone else, we want to create our own lane and change the meaning of what hip-hop is. A hip-hop record can have pop or electro elements and still stay true to what the genre’s all about. Hip-Hop was built on changing perceptions and we want to continue that.
We’re gonna be the next: Beatles! Gotta aim high.