It shouldn't matter where you're from, but I cannot help wanting to take that into account as to why Saskatonian producer Factor is underrated. It's a Canadian territory more synonmous with being the butt of local accent jokes than exporting hip hop. Well, if this is the first you're hearing of Factor, I highly suggest getting acquainted with Lawson Graham (2010) and last month's Woke Up Alone.
Woke Up Alone is a concept record centralized around necromancy and psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross' theory on the five stages of grief as written in her 1969 book, On Death and Dying. Far from a run-of-the-mill rap record, Factor is joining the ranks of Prince Paul's A Prince Among Thieves with Woke Up Alone. The rappers appearing on the record are not passers-by but characters brought in to help illustrate the process of grief in a story about a man who attempts to raise his deceased wife from the dead.
When Factor sent over his “Woke Up Fucked Up” mix for our Friday Night series, I felt as though he'd sent an addendum to his record, a companion piece to further exhibit how he arrived at the sounds contained within Woke Up Alone. Mixed entirely off vinyl, it's a mix that weaves psychedelic 70s folk with mid-90s underground hip hop as though the two genres are mere measures apart. It won't cure a hangover, but it keeps an even level of murkiness that won't disrupt your equilibrium.
Factor's Woke Up Alone is out now on Fake Four, Inc.