Factor Lawson Graham

FactorLawson Graham
Hot off the success of collaborations with Myka 9, Awol One and Moka O..., er, I mean, Ron Contour, Saskatoon producer Factor alters course slightly with his newest compilation. Lawson Graham may be more indie pop than hip-hop, but it still maintains Factor's signature smoothly slamming beats, DJ cuts and collabs with some of the most interesting underground personalities. The only songs that feature full-on singing are "Missed The Train," with Gregory Pepper, "Every Morning," with Cars and Trains, and "Oh Oh Andy," with Nomad, but many of the other tracks feature guest singers (Heresy Mae with Barfly for soulful blues tune "Ain't Nothin' Gonna Change" and Radical Face with Sole for the Anticon-appropriate "Living In A Vacuum") or melodic MCs able to sing their hooks. Of the latter, Kirby Dominant, Ceschi, Josh Martinez and Moka Only give the best of their usual offerings, but it's Pigeon John's creepy, singsong "They Don't Know" and the confident challenge of Def 3 on "Battle Scars" that steal the show. Myka 9 is also impressive, as always, using his voice as an instrument on "That's How I Feel About It," although he wastes the end of the beat talking it out for far too long, and "Stoned As You" is an Auto-Tune-inflected near-instrumental in the vein of DJ Frane's Beats To Smoke To series. Lawson Graham is certainly an excellent attempt by Factor to appeal to a wider audience, which is also likely to lead to a greater range of co-conspirators he can work with in the future. (Fake Four Inc.)