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    Underground rapper Sematary stands at the crossroads of numerous different scenes, sounds, and

    subcultures. From a first listen to any of his projects, you’ll hear influences of 2010s Chicago Drill in

    the explosive bass-boosted 808s, Shoegaze and Black Metal in the washed out guitars, and

    Horrorcore in his dark, eldritch bars and ominous album art. Much like artists such as Yung Lean,

    it’s hard to pigeonhole him into any one genre or subculture — but the hundreds of millions of

    streams he’s received on Spotify and Apple Music show his mercurial status in the current music

    scene is a strength, not a weakness.

    Growing up in Placer County, California and beginning his musical career as an 11-year-old playing

    around on GarageBand, Sematary grew up on a variety of artists like witch house

    pioneers Salem as well as Chief Keef, Sickboyrari (fka Black Kray), and Yung Lean — whose

    Warlord tour he saw in San Francisco when he was fifteen, a moment he credits as the impetus for

    wanting to make rap music. In 2019, after graduating high school, he founded the collective Haunted Mound, a group of rappers and artists who share a love for Sematary’s sound.

    If Bladee is the ‘CEO’ of his collective Drain Gang, then Sematary is very much the Haunted

    Mound CEO: every artist attached to the collective was found by him, he does all the artwork for

    every project, and oversees the production of all the group’s music. In November of the same year,

    he released his debut mixtape Rainbow Bridge, with its deep-fried, over-saturated artwork

    reminiscent of old No Limit albums and Chicago drill mixtapes of the time setting the tone

    for Haunted Mound’s visual aesthetics. Tracks like “Slaughter House” and “Bunny Suit” from the

    project now sit at 5 million and 3 million streams on Spotify respectively.

    In October of 2021, Sematary moved into the ‘Butcher House’, a decommissioned (you guessed it)

    butcher house, which serves as his place of residence, studio, and base[b] of operations for

    the Haunted Mound. After two years of making music and growing Haunted Mound, Sematary dropped Rainbow Bridge 3, which garnered attention not only from fans but from bloggers, reviewers, and anyone with their ear to the underground. A surge in visibility brought a number of record labels offering deals, all of which he declined, doubling down on his DIY approach. 

    The combination of Sematary’s commitment to Haunted Mound’s genre-blending sound, hisrarefied visuals (he’s sporting a True Religion jacket in every mixtape or album cover to date), and

    his secluded existence in the Butcher House, have contributed to his online mythos. His merch

    drops, frequently with 5000 or more items, sell out within minutes, snapped up by diehard fans. The

    Haunted Mound subreddit dissects each and every Sematary tweet or IG post ad infinitum, and 20

    minute YouTube videos analyzing the ‘Haunted Mound iceberg’ receive over 100,000 views. In

    2022, Sematary announced a world tour, selling out dates from Melbourne to Poland. There was no

    slowing down in 2023: In January, Sematary dropped the mixtape Butcher House. From track

    1, ‘Haunted Mound Reapers’ (+5 mil streams), it’s a victory lap for the collective and their distinct

    sound, not least because the project includes a feature from one of Sematary’s boyhood

    heroes, Sickboyrari, on “Hallowed Be My Wrist”.

    Following his latest release, Sematary performed at Lyrical Lemonade's Summer Smash

    2023, and collaborated with breakthrough Florida rapper BLP Kosher on the single “Huntin

    Wabbits” (+1.5 mil streams). Perhaps the crowning achievement of a momentous year

    was collaborating with Chief Keef for a song, which will appear on the upcoming FTP

    Records album, masterminded by Zac FTP, creator of legendary underground streetwear brand

    Fuck The Population. Never one to rest on his laurels, Sematary is recently embarked on the 42-

    date North American Grey Day Tour with $uicideboy$ where he played the biggest venues of his

    career thus far. With each step forward, however, Sematary remains laser-focused on his own work;

    releasing EP King of the Graveyard, largely composed of old Black Metal samples mined from the

    bowels of YouTube, a throwback to the sound of his first mixtape, Rainbow Bridge. On top of

    that, Sematary is also re-recording his 2020 EP Warboy, until the songs sound like he wants them

    to. It’s dedicated gestures like this which hint at how an artist who started out making Garagebandtracks in Nowhere, CA could end up making a lane for himself in the rap game and touring the world, all before his 23rd birthday.




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