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, his  rarefied 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 Garageband 

tracks 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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