June 4, 2009

Def 3

Def 3

Illustration by Pearl Rachinsky        

Introduce yourself, crews, affiliations etc…
I am the real Danny Fernandez a.k.a Def 3, not to be confused with that wack ass R and B fool from out east. I Represent for Ship Records, Sideroad , D & D (dog river cats), Oye!, Metropolis Now, Frek Sho, Pyrex Boys, Tiki Room, Block Parent Familia, and Red Dragon.

You just released along overdue record with Factor. What took so long?
We recorded most of that record almost two years ago over a few weekends in Saskatoon with the intention of it coming out right away. But then due to involvement with other projects and both of us leading busy lives we sat on it for a while. After the songs sat for a while we almost were gonna give away the album as a free download because both of us felt we had progressed since then and we would just start a new one. When the opportunity of the 1969 Tour [Feat. Myka 9, Sole, Ceschi, Factor, Def 3 and more] came up a few months back it sparked the recording of a couple more songs and due to time restraints we decided to just spruce the old tracks up. When we listened to the tracks all together they meshed well so we just decided to bring the rest back to life by adding more detail to what was there and finishing the rest of the album.

How would you describe Drumbo?
I think it’s the most honest, mature project I’ve done to date. No bullshit. Short and sweet. A lot of people I know are gearing there music for commercial play. As far as lyrics go, Drumbo is just a blurb of a moment in time in my life. A lot of reflection mixed with a little bit of fun. I think if you like anything I’ve done before you should like this record. There will definitely be a follow up record.

What is the significance of the title Drumbo?
The name Drumbo doesn’t really have too much significance to the songs on the album. It was a name I thought of a long time ago that I knew I wanted to use for something. I guess it’s an introduction to the name of a group with me and Factor represented in a character. Instead of just coming out with the name Drumbo as an album title we decided to ease into it. In past collaborations its always Def 3 and… I want to get a way from that and form a group with Factor. That’s the idea with Drumbo.

How did you link up with Moka Only and how did Dog River come together?
I’ve been friends with Moka for a while through shows and such. One day we recorded a few songs and over time they kept building. It was a mesh of 3 or 4 Regina visits. There was no set plan to do an album but then after we had a gang of tracks we decided to put it out as one. After that it kind of took off more than we thought it would.

You and Moka Only had a lot of chemistry on Dog River are there plans to make a follow up record?
Yeah I love working with Moka. He’s a fine tuned machine. Extreme work ethic and he taught me to write more confidently and not worry so much, to just let it go and be our goofy selves. We have some tracks done already I am hoping we can finish it soon and release I later this year. Both of us have so much on the go individually there is no rush. Were gonna spend a bit more time and focus on this one instead of just verse chorus verse chorus more back and forth and actually do it right as far as touring and promo go.

You just finished up touring with the Myka 9, Sole and Ceschi in the States what was that experience like?
It was awesome! I am so glad to be working with a workhorse like Factor and when he asked me to come I dropped everything I was supposed to be doing for it. Ceschi is the shit. He did a great job organizing the tour and he’s an incredibly talented artist. For me it was good look behind the scenes. I run my own label and to see how well and efficient he does it I learnt lots. As far as Myka and Sole those two are so funny to just listen to. I actually made a quote book for the tour and its all them. From Sole’s ridiculous sarcasm to Myka’s legendary status and stories it was epic. I had such a great time. I felt I got to experience and be a part of true hip hop history. Thanks guys.

What was you favourite moment of the tour?
To pinpoint one is very hard cause the whole thing was incredible every day and night. so I am gonna give you five. 1) Performing at the knitting Factory in Hollywood and standing backstage watching when Myka, Aceyalone and Ab Rude performed was dope to see. 2) When you guys (Chaps, Rove and Theory) came to Montana to meet up and party and then I went tagging in the train yard with Sole at 5 AM 3) Going to the Grimm Image mansion in San Bernadino and meeting those cats and partying with them. 4) Going to Xzibit’s house and then to the studio with Awol and Factor while they recorded the sickest track ever 5) Story time with Myka 9 and Sole.

Def 3 & Factor - Drumbo

What are you plans for ’09?
I got 3 or 4 releases aligned for ’09 with a wackload of touring. I just finished the 1969 Tour, I shot two videos for Drumbo. Just played SXSW in Austin, I’m currently in South America for 3 months. I got a grant to go record my new album down here. I’m gonna backpack through every country with my homie, learn about the history and my ancestry, hang out with my fam, see the sights, and record and rock shows when possible. Then when I get back in July or august do a full Canada tour of some sorts and maybe Europe tour later in the year. That’s would be a kosher year. I’m all music this year ’09 is gonna be good and I’m excited for the future.

What are you feeling these days rap wise?
Rap wise I’ve been stuck in the ’90s since the ’90s, but that’s getting old or I end up listening to my own shit al the time and analyzing the hell out of it before releases. I don’t really give a shit about all the rap on tv. I mostly just listen to my friends music or artists I’ve followed and trust . Most rap nowadays is quite disappointing, its all glamour and no message or originality. So when I find something unique I’m happy. Dopest thing ive heard lately is the new Why? album, Alopecia or whatever Factor is working on like the new Myka 9 album and Awol’s new album.

Some people may not know this but you also dj a lot. What do you prefer rapping or djing and how does being a dj influence your mcing and vice versa?
I would prefer to dj less and rap more cause I feel I have more to say than play. But here’s the reason why I love being a dj as well as rapping and how it came to be. I’ve always felt the more you know about or how to do anything in hip hop or whatever industry your in will further you no matter what with your main goal. I firmly believe in the DIY approach. From that I get to record, perform, do lots of murals with graff, dj lots and skateboard and reap the benefits from all the things I love.

I’ve messed with turntables since before I started rapping but never considered myself a dj. And then about 6 years ago when i got sick of always asking other people for beats I started making my own. I had got a technics 1200 and a mixer to sample through. Shortly after I got another one and began mixing all my records for fun practicing mixing lots and learning to scratch basically with no intent of becoming a dj for real. Then one day I was in the Freehouse mad at the fact I had to work a real job and not just be an “artist” I thought to myself this dj sucks; so I barged the manager and said let me do this guys job. She said yes and I played just there for a bit but from then on I started getting booked all over. I found a few comfortable places that take care of me and just did regulars nights for the past 4 or 5 years. It makes living in the prairies fun when I’m here and getting by very easy for me. I dj 3 nights a week when I’m here or not playing a show rapping. I find it great to fill the space in between projects or to make extra money but still be doin music. It has a lot of perks from high consistent pay if you can prove yourself to clubs and crowds. I am the resident dj at a few night clubs in Regina. I get to promote the hell out of whatever I’m working on, drink for free everywhere I go. It seems like when I’m playing its my party that I get to choose and manipulate all the music for. Tons of my friends come and I can rap whenever I want in front of packed clubs. I like djing both to make people dance and also to influence better music on people, where I’m from its generic wedding deejays trying to rock clubs. Nice guys but not what I like when I got to a club.

Then during the week I just go to a pub or go skateboarding and work on writing recording or making beats. Everything I do goes hand in hand with another part of my life from music to art to skateboarding Most of my vacations are when I’m touring, which lately has been quite a lot international travel all over the place. I book my own hours, I do what I want and get paid way more to do hip hop all the time from what I was doing before silk-screening getting paid dick all and hating life.. I can’t complain.. It also lets me know what’s up as far as new music and usually with pop music you can learn a lot from dissecting which I do as far a structure and style and apply to my own music. Cause in the end I still love rapping, recording and performing far more so that will always be my focus. Between all this it also aids in funding my label and projects, provides me the ability to separate business and personal finance separately and establishes my credit as a business owner and individual leaving me in the so called “system” but with the freedom to do what I want. Enough about djing.

Any last words shout outs stories etc?
I’m finishing this last question of the interview from a hostel in Buenos Aires, Argentina sweating my ass off so I’m gonna keep it short. I’ve only just begun, this our fifth day so i’ll have some stories for you when I get back but here’s a quick piece of advice. Don’t go to strip clubs in South America. I’ve learned they differ hugely from Canada and the U.S. there is no mercy, you walk in and before you sit down your handed a drink and surrounded. When you refuse it two Vin Diesel looking guys say you walked through the door and will muscle you for all you have even when you request to leave and if you don’t pay will beat your ass. You bargain to 200 pesos down from the 400 they request which is about $160 Canadian and run for your life… Just want to say please request my new videos when they are released and the album is available at all hmv’s and cd plus’s. Shoutouts to Factor, Moka, Ceschi and all the Sideroad cats. Grimm Image, My band Oye!, all the rap homies I’ve met along the way — there is too many to name you know who you are. I’d like to personally thank Spoof from the legendary Frek Sho for helping me out with everything from insightful info to label guidance you’ve been a huge help. If anyone needs cd pressing please contact [email protected] They have really good prices and are very quick for turnaround. And shoutout to you Chaps for always being on tour with me and keeping rap real as ever. This is it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! See you soon brother.

28 Responses

  1. Def3 is too ill. Sounds like things are alright by him right now too, good shit.

  2. man i should have told you about south american strip clubs before you left…

  3. best rapper ever!

    Just saw the alternate cut of this vid and it’s even crazszzziiieerrr!

    big up’s to 3 pac!!!!

  4. check your gmail FM! I have two hardcopies left and their both scratched to shit.

    What great memories….


  5. fuck dudes, remember dead cant bounce?!

    that album is dope.

    can someone give it to me?

  6. I have a copy of DCB kicking around my crib that’s still in good shape. I could upload it in the next couple of days (providing Ira and Danny have no beef with that, of course)


  8. http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=f40d094de80c4ed37f7ec40ada4772a6e04e75f6e8ebb871

    dead can’t bounce – i aint afraid of no ghost

    for your listening pleasure

    i remember buyin this from def3 at amigos in 2005 when i turned 19 at a moka only show.

    first time id ever heard of def3 and i was completely impressed, this album stayed in my rotation for a bit, and then i realized the importance of it, and it made alot more sense.

    piece of canadian rap history right there.

  9. much thanks homie
    i bumped this hard when it first dropped
    it has a special place in my heart
    tonight i am a happy man

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