Hemlock Ernst is the rap name of Samuel T. Herring (born April 13, 1984), an American performer from Baltimore, Maryland, better known for being the frontman of synth-pop band Future Islands.
In 2003, while attending the East Carolina University, in Greenville, North Carolina, Herring and other colleagues would start the performance art band Art Lord & the Self Portraits which would last until late 2005. In early 2006, some of its former members would start Future Islands, and the band would relocate to Baltimore, MD, in 2008. In 2013, he took a break from his band’s touring in order to spend more time on his solo rap project, writing more, and doing more shows.
Parallel to Future Islands, Herring continued rapping either solo, under the moniker Hemlock Ernst, or with his brother as Flesh Epic. Hemlock was his original writing name on an on-line music board when he was in the 9th grade, from a poem he wrote about Socrates taking the hemlock poison. Ernst comes from his character in Art Lord & The Self Portraits who was named Locke Ernst-Frost: a reference to John Locke the religious poet, Max Ernst, the artist and Robert Frost, the American poet.
Trouble Knows Me
In 2015, Hemlock Ernst teamed up with producer Madlib for a new rap project called Trouble Knows Me. Produced by Madlib, the self-titled EP would be released on September 1 by Madlib Invazion. It was pre-sold on July 17, during its first presentation at The Mid club in Chicago, when the identity of the project’s emcee was finally revealed.
In 2015, he appeared in other collaborative hip-hop releases, on tracks by Milo and Scallops Hotel, 83cutlass, Curse ov Dialect, Busdriver, and Cavanaugh (Open Mike Eagle & Serengeti).
In March 2016, he appeared on the track "Protectors of the Heat" on Open Mike Eagle & Paul White’s album “Hella Personal Film Festival” and on "This Is Where I Leave You", an exclusive track to the single Chekhov's Gun, off the album Fuck That Pretty Boy Shit by Words Hurt (rapper Alaska & producer Lang Vo). This track also includes vocals by Marilyn Carino.
In April, another guest appearance was released, "Something Out There" on the album Pinball Museum by Boy Legs, a hip-hop duo from North Carolina.
In early May, Watercolor Wareworlf released the album AM Nights: 92.3 The Beast featuring Hemlock Ernst on the track "WWhat u WWaitin 4" on May 19th, Charge It To The Game released "Bite Me" - also featuring Hemlock Ernst - as first single of the EP Urban Hall Of Fame and on July 4th, JPEGMAFIA released "Llama Mind" as the second single of the EP The 2nd Amendment.
As Samuel T. Herring, in 2015 he added vocals to the track “Play it Cool” (featuring rapper Earl Sweatshirt), on Gangrene’s album Welcome to Los Santos and collaborated with BadBadNotGood on the 2016 track "Time Moves Slow", off their album IV. A collaboration with Clams Casino has been announced on the track "Ghost in a Kiss" off the 32 Levels album due to be released on July 15, 2016.
- Rapdragons — “Gotta Go” from Featuring Baltimore (June 2010)
- Gangrene (The Alchemist & Oh No) — “Play it Cool” (as Samuel T. Herring) feat. Earl Sweatshirt from Welcome to Los Santos (April 2015)
- Scallops Hotel — “Lavender Chunk” from Plain Speaking (May 2015)
- 83cutlass — “Wicked Kingdom” feat. Hemlock Ernst & Josephine Olivia (July 2015)
- Curse ov Dialect — “Twisted Strangers” from Twisted Strangers (March 2016)
- Milo — “Souvenir” from So the Flies Don't Come (September 2015)
- Busdriver — “Ministry of the Torture Couch” from Thumbs (November 2015)
- Cavanaugh (Open Mike Eagle & Serengeti) — “Typecast” feat. P.O.S. & Busdriver from Time & Materials (November 2015)
- Cavanaugh — “Lemons” from Time & Materials (November 2015)
- Open Mike Eagle & Paul White — “Protectors of the Heat” from Hella Personal Film Festival (March 2016)
- Words Hurt (rapper Alaska & producer Lang Vo) "This Is Where I Leave You" from Fuck That Pretty Boy Shit (April 2016)
- Boy Legs "Something Out There" from Pinball Museum (April 2016)
- Watercolor Warewolf (producer Scoop DeVille & multi-media artist Michael Sterling Eaton) "WWhat u WWaitin 4" from AM Nights: 92.3 The Beast (May 2016)
- Charge It To The Game (rapper Fat Tony & producer Kyle Mabson) from Urban Hall Of Fame (May 2016)
- JPEGMAFIA "Llama Mind" from The Second Amendment (July 2016)
- Clams Casino "Ghost in a Kiss" from 32 Levels (July 2016)