Don’t Trip

2022 • Forward Music Group

Don’t Trip is a raucous, rousing house party of a record that builds on the communal celebration of Black music that marked Aquakultre’s debut.

Where does one go on their sophomore album after naming their debut Legacy? If you’re Aquakultre (aka Lance Sampson), you take everything that has ever informed your sound, spirit, and soul, and you take it home. Don’t Trip is a raucous, rousing house party of a record that builds on the communal celebration of Black music that marked his debut. Remarkably, Don’t Trip is a surprisingly warm and intimate record for a record chock-full of features and guest appearances.

Your marching orders come early on the opening number, “I Can Wait” (featuring guests Chudi Harris, Zamani Miller, and Nixx). “Ain’t even gotta say too much man, I know you can feel this in your bones already,” Aquakultre spits over the song’s infectious beat, “I need everybody to report to the dancefloor for a special presentation.” Lyrically, “I Can Wait” is about a party of two, focusing on the intimate moments at the start of Sampson’s budding romance with his partner. Their pandemic-era relationship afforded Sampson the time, space, and mental energy to capture that heady feeling of new love in song. What started as a planned five-song EP eventually morphed into Don’t Trip’s all-out celebration of making it through the last few years of pandemic living.

There’s also a reckoning with Sampson’s past underpinning the album’s more personal narrative. “Magic” is infused with old-school soul and classic R&B vibes while taking on his childhood experiences with an absentee father. On “You Got Feets” (featuring Owen O sound Lee and pHoenix Pagliacci), a family matriarch shows the dancefloor that age is just a number. But mostly, as on the bubbly title track, Sampson just can’t keep his enthusiasm for his new love contained, “fizzing like a soda pop” after getting all shaken up. “Something is changing in me / Making me feel free,” he sings, and the transformation is palpable in his delivery.

Don’t Trip is a vibe that is concentrated and laser-focussed. Like that one house on your block where there’s a party happening every weekend, Aquakultre’s sophomore album is a boisterous and ebullient gathering, the kind where you knock on the door not to complain about the noise but in hopes that they invite you in. 

Legacy assured.

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