The Urbanite – Jon Liedtke – July 2, 2014
You can tell that Def3, aka Danny Fernandez, spent his childhood travelling the world. His latest release Wildlif3 is a varied and encompassing album in scope, incorporating different musical styles, themes and nuances throughout this Canadian hip-hop album.
Wildlif3 starts off strong with “Recipe Destiny,” featuring Claire Mortifee. The track features a strong lyrical flow, heavy rhythm and percussive lead. The chorus by Mortifee is strong, balanced and musically appealing.
Starting off an album featuring another artist can be risky business as it casts light on the contributing artist, but Wildlif3’s inclusion of contributing artists, including Kay the Aquanaut, Ceschi, Shad & Skratch Bastid, Monka Only & Panther, Merkules & Evil Ebenezer and Krystle Dos Santos in addition to Claire Mortifee helps round out an already impressive album.
While the production on the album isn’t anything to write home about, it certainly is something to write about in a review. Produced by Factor, the album is clean where it needs to be, features deep lows and bright highs. The vocals and instruments play off of each other well and the balance is perfect for listening through headphones.
“Babyface” references the notion of being a ‘big fish in a small pond’ while the title track does a great job of building up the beat using drums and riding a strong bass thump to level it out.
Listen to “The Truth feat Shad & Skratch Bastid” simply because of its trumpet intro countered by a muted trumpet solo. The most pop influenced track is “Where Did We Go Wrong,” while “Under the Influence” has one of the sexiest bass lines I’ve heard in a while.
Lyrically, Def3 raps about travelling the world, working hard, overcoming obstacles and continually persevering, and Canada. Whether it be talk about the west coast, living in the prairies, beaches, forests, getting through rough winters or major Canadian cities, Def3 makes it implicitly clear that he’s both Canadian and not afraid to show it.
Jonathon Liedtke is the managing editor of The Urbanite, Windsor’s alternative newspaper. He is also a member of Windsor’s “Punk with Horns” band The Nefidovs, and as such, is committed to enhancing and sustaining the arts community.