With live shows looming on the horizon, it’s been a while since I’ve had much excitement over being able to catch an artist in the act of performance. I did manage to catch a Def3 and Bryx performance at Victoria, British Columbia’s Ska and Reggae festival a couple of years ago and It was high energy and fantastic! Fast forward almost two years later and Danny Fernandez, aka Def3 aka the third number on your local payphone, has now once again teamed up with funky-ass Denver producer Late Night Radio for their second installment together titled Weddings and Funerals (Urbnet) and it’s pretty got-damn good. Filled with honest, uplifting lyricism and wavy, well-timed production, Weddings and Funerals is a front-to-back charm.
Right from the get-go, LNR takes charge on the track “Just Wait” and builds a stage for Def3 to jump in like it ain’t no thang, and hops all over the track like Frogger making a seamless transition from one side of the road to the other. Things carry on in a positive manner on “Better,” an organ-driven beat paired with lyrics that assure you things are going to get better. Sometimes it’s those mantras in life that make life a little more bearable. I’m not a “no bad days” type of person because false positivity is some wack-ass shit, but sometimes you need someone else telling you that shit’s gonna be alright. And that’s alright. The third track “Lift Off” is your new summertime party jam and it’s a shame you won’t get to wave your arms to this track at some sweaty festival this summer. The album carries through quite steadily with some chill reflective moments like the well-placed Piano/Horn combo on “Drowning,” with a feature from Recess and the Kapok assisted “Soulstice”. We get a touch of Gospel-laden production on the track “Got Away” where Def3 lets loose on the passing of his uncle (hence the funerals in “Weddings & Funerals.”) The last track “Rani” Rounds out the album, which is dedicated to his daughter and is really quite touching, especially when paired with the video they released last month.
It’s Hip-Hop albums like these that get me excited to go stand in the back of a dingy bar and nod my head along in approval or stand in the middle of a sweaty patchouli-infused festival and raise my hand in the air like I just don’t care. You probably won’t find me at the festival part but you will find physical/digital copies of Weddings and Funerals on Bandcamp.