Los Angeles rapper Awol One is rumored to be over one thousand years old and every single one of those years can be heard within the cracks and subtleties of his voice and words. One may call him a crude poet, a drunken rambler, or a voice for slackers but nobody can deny that he's maintained an uncompromising level of honesty and originality on the mic. As a solo act and a member of The Shape Shifters for over 10 years Awol One has collaborated with everyone from Xzibit and Cypress Hill to Aesop Rock and KRS-One. Back in the early 2000s when journalists didn't quite know what to make of strange indie hip hop, Spin magazine tried to pin him down as one of the premiere voices of "emo-rap" while Vice Magazine and LA Weekly were singing the praises of his working man's anthems. His 2001 collaboration with Daddy Kev, Souldoubt, quickly became seen as a Los Angeles underground hip hop classic and Awol hasn't slowed down a bit.
Since 2006 Awol has been making records with Canadian prairie producer Factor who is known for his melodic psychedelic and folk influenced hip hop beats. Over the years this duo has released Only Death Can Kill You and Owl Hours - two very different types of albums from the same team. If 2007's Only Death was their birth and 2009's Owl Hours was their celebration of life, then 2011's The Landmark is their return back to harsh reality. On The Landmark Awol's words embody the drunken grittiness of life as a touring musician. Between mellow but catchy choruses and raw beautiful beats lie images of the bright highs and deep lows of a musician's manic depression. On the song "The Wasp" Awol sums it up perfectly when chanting "I lost my self esteem such a very long time ago, but I got back my self esteem just one rhyme ago." Over a thousand years later Awol One still manages to splatter himself all over these Factor canvases with a level of realism that very few other rappers have been able to capture on record.