Sappyfest, Sackville NB, August 4

Photo: Stephen McGill

BY Matt BobkinPublished Aug 5, 2019

Halifax-based hip-hop artist Lance Sampson, better known as Aquakultre, is still riding high after winning the 2018 CBC Searchlight contest, as seen when he entered his Sappyfest set clad in a robe.
His confident swagger never wavered throughout his performance, which found him delivering smooth, soulful vocals and hard-hitting, conscious rhymes to the tune of his three-piece backing band, featuring Halifax mainstays Nick Dourado, Nathan Doucet and Jeremy Costello.
Sampson wasn't afraid to make bold choices, like his cover of mid-2000s dance party staple "Cha Cha Slide," and gathering a cohort of audience members to serve as a choir for his closing number. Even when spitting bars like "capitalism and prison systems / I can't tell the difference," the mood was upbeat. Drawing on funk, R&B and hip-hop, the quartet gave the Sappyfest main stage crowd plenty of grooves to dance to.

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