Factor: Lawson Graham

Factor: Lawson Graham
Canadian producer, Factor has been crafting beats for over a decade. In that decade he has produced works for the likes of Xzibit, Aesop Rock, and AWOL One. On his latest album, Lawson Graham, Factor continues to push the boundaries of hip hop by mixing in an eclectic mixture of sound and influences.
Hip Hop producers are not generally the most free thinking bunch. After Kanye West broke how many sped up soul sample-based song came out? A lot. That’s why it is important to have artists like Factor. It is evident from listening to Lawson Graham that Factor is not concerned with what hip hop heads will say about his release.
Lawson Graham sees Factor mostly experiment with mixing indie pop and folk with hip hop. Tracks like “Every Morning” could have easily been written by a modern Pete Seger. The track features Cars & Trains singing over a simple acoustic guitar and electronic drums beat. The drums are, of course, Factor’s signature crackling, heavy drums.
But Factor does not only indulge in the rock realm, he does a good job to rotate between more traditional hip hop and the esoteric fare. The album features some of Factor’s famous rap friends like Radical Face, Barfly, 2Mex, Pigeon John, and Myka 9 among others.
The track that probably best mixes both genres together is “The Fall Of Captain E.O.” which features Ceschi. Ceschi does the rapping and singing thing normally, so it is not out of his range to mix psychedelia and hip hop but the track’s vivid imagery and catchy hook works incredibly well.
Unfortunately, not all the tracks work so well. A couple of the more rock based tracks seemed to pale in comparison to the hip hop tracks. The hip hop tracks worked so well that if Factor had focused more on them than on the folky stuff we might be talking about one of the best albums of the year instead of an album just above mediocrity.
Rating: 6.4/10
MP3: Factor featuring Ceschi “The Fall Of Captain E.O.”
Buy: iTunes or Insound!