Published May 05, 2020Sometimes, there's an artist that comes along with the perfect alchemy of life experience, soul and ability — one with a message that needs to be heard. Aquakultre's debut album Legacy announces the arrival of such an artist. Lance Sampson — the founder of the genre-adverse group — uses his years spent in prison (and his music skills honed there) to tackle topics from systemic racism to finding the right path to, of course, love. The end result is one of the year's strongest records so far.
After releasing three EPs and a handful of singles as a solo act (not to mention winning CBC's Searchlight contest), Halifax's Sampson expanded Aquakultre into a full band, expanding his sound. From the deep R&B grooves of "Time and Affection" to the gospel-tinged "Don't Forget" to the '60s soul that pervades the whole record, Legacy is a celebration of Black music. It's also a monument to self-improvement and being a positive force in one's community.
Think D'Angelo, Common and Erykah Badu and you've got a good starting point for Sampson's conscientious lyrics and golden pipes. Album standout "I Doubt It" showcases this, opening with the lyric "Wait a minute, capitalism and prison systems, I can't tell the difference." But it's not all hard-hitting lessons: "657" and a funky re-imagining of one of Aquakultre's earliest songs, "Wife Tonight," are sure to ignite dance floors.
Legacy is addictive. It's bracing. It's a nine track rallying call you won't want to end. It's a debut that entertains the ears while working the mind. (Black Buffalo)