Music Clip of the Month/ 4-11

Cousin's "Champion Song" (2011)

BY EMIL TIEDEMANN

Slave Lake rapper Cousin
GROWING up in the northern Alberta town of Slave Lake--population 6,703--Mouhamed Mouallem was practically forced to get used to the twang of Dwight Yoakam, John Michael Montgomery, and fellow cowboy hat serenaders. But Mouallem, now 27, broadened his musical palette, soon taking in the beats & flows of Lupe Fiasco, Kanye West, Common, Emilio Rojas, and others.

By 2008 Mouallem, later christening himself Cousin, started writing his own raps, storytelling alongside hip-hop beats and via his own personal brand of "braggadocio and self-deprecation." The end result of the Lebanese-Canadian's diverse and evolving antics were finally realized in this summer's Martyr's Circus: The Freequel, which features the handiwork of Canuck producers/ artists like Omar "A.O.K." Mouallem, Nidal Mourad, Metawon, Sample Jockey, and Engineer.

The "pizzeria owner by day" is also piecing together the tracks for a sophomore project, Sinners, Saints and Superheroes, tentatively set for release this fall or winter. Cousin is now based outta Edmonton, as you can easily tell by his premiere music video "Champion Song." For more information on Cousin you can follow him on his Facebook page.

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