Mouraine’s latest may be called Bigger Dreams but the Edmonton rapper certainly isn’t living with his head in the clouds. In fact, Mouraine is about as real as it gets and continues to be a dominant figure representing hip-hop in Alberta with earned confidence.
If you’re not familiar with the rising emcee, Mouraine immigrated to Canada from Northern Sudan with his Mother and siblings after they were forced to seek asylum. Displaced on the prairies, Mouraine spent his formative years immersed in skateboard and hip-hop culture. With his unique outsider perspective he was often playing the role of the observer, which is likely what makes him such a great storyteller.
Bigger Dreams is full of quality rhymes and big sounds loaded with authentic energy. Mouraine mixes his sessionable flow with a modest bravado, recalling the likes of rap superstars Big Sean or Pusha T, both of whom Mouraine has performed alongside as the opening support on past bills.
The new EP kicks off with “Badmon,” a dark and bass-heavy single with elements of trap and an earworm chorus. Recorded at Atreus XO with Graham Smith, the production is thoughtful and varied with downtempo tracks that would pair well alongside a light indica hybrid, while others on the album have the potential to get any dance floor moving. Mixed and mastered by the Grammy nominated G.O.O.D Music producer Mike Snell (Kanye West, Teyana Taylor), the tracks pack a professional punch, making groovier songs like the eponymous “Bigger Dreams” vibe comfortably next to J Cole or Mac Miller on your next rap tracks playlist.
Continuing to build his legacy locally in Edmonton, Mouraine is rising up and out of the prairies. We caught up with him to find out what moves him musically while he highlights some of his favourite emcees who are working alongside him to put the City Of Champs and Alberta as a whole back on the map
When did you decide you wanted to be a rapper?
When I was going into junior high school, around Grade 7. I used to watch rap videos and BET every day after school and remember wanting to perform like Eminem and 50 Cent.
What kind of music did you listen to growing up?
I listened to a lot of hip-hop, but also what was playing on the radio mostly. I love all types of music though. Music is whatever warms your soul.
How would you describe your style as a rapper?
I think my style as a rapper is very unique because I’m just being myself. I don’t try to rap or fit into a cliche. Like, I made a song about my 1998 Chevy Malibu “Hoopty.” I don’t think a lot of people are willing to do such a thing.
What is the biggest misconception about the rap music scene in Alberta?
I don’t think it’s a misconception but the rap music scene in Alberta isn’t as acknowledged as it should be, because most people don’t know it exists out here. I see it on a lot of famous artist’s faces. Every time they come here for a concert and it sells out, they are blown away by the culture that is out here.
Who are some emcees in Alberta that we should be paying attention to?
Arlo Maverick is most likely the most important man in the history of Hip hop in Alberta. Cartel Madras have a unique mix of house and hip-hop that can be played at your local college party and everyone would vibe out. Moto is most likely one of the most talented artists out of Alberta. He is only 22 but can go toe-to-toe with anyone on the A-list. The way DaKidT raps, you can hear his lyrics come directly from the heart. Erick Rush is also super talented. I feel like in the next few years he will be a household name in the Edmonton music scene for sure.
By Glenn Alderson
Our 2022 festival highlights featuring Zach Zoya, Dee Holt, Fernie, Sunglaciers, Priors, and a conversation with Sub Pop CEO Megan Jasper.