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Hemlock Ernst
Samuel T. Herring
Future Islands, Kosmonaut Festival 2015 13 (cropped).JPG
Samuel T. Herring performing as part of Future Islands at the 2015 Kosmonaut Festival
Background information
Samuel Thomson Herring
Sam Herring
Born (1984-04-13) April 13, 1984 (age 34)
Carteret County, North Carolina, U.S.
OriginBaltimore, Maryland, U.S.
  • Rapper
  • singer
LabelsMadlib Invazion

Samuel T. Herring (born April 13, 1984),[1] also known as Sam Herring and by his rap moniker Hemlock Ernst,[2] is an American performer and rapper from Baltimore, Maryland, better known for being the frontman of the synth-pop band Future Islands.[3]


Early life

Born in Carteret County, North Carolina, Herring grew up in Newport[4] and Morehead City.[3] He began rapping at age 14 at freestyle battles and cyphers.[5]


In 2003, while attending East Carolina University, in Greenville, North Carolina, Herring and other colleagues started the performance art band Art Lord & The Self Portraits, which lasted until late 2005. In early 2006, some of its former members started Future Islands, and the band relocated to Baltimore, MD, in 2008.[6] In 2013,[7] Herring took a break from the band's touring in order to spend more time on his solo rap project, writing more, and doing more shows.[6]

Parallel to Future Islands, Herring continued rapping either solo, under the moniker Hemlock Ernst, or with his brother as Flesh Epic.[8] 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.[9]

Trouble Knows Me

In 2015, Hemlock Ernst teamed up with producer Madlib for a new rap project called Trouble Knows Me.[10][11] Produced by Madlib,[12] 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,[13] when the identity of the project's emcee was finally revealed.[14]

On March 24, 2016, British musician Four Tet sat in for Benji B on BBC radio 1 and played an unreleased track by Trouble Knows Me: "Rings in the Coffe".[15]

Guest appearances

In 2010, he made a guest appearance on the track "Gotta Go", included on a mixtape by Baltimore hip-hop duo Rapdragons.[16][17]

In 2015, he appeared in other collaborative hip-hop releases, on tracks by Milo[18] and Scallops Hotel,[19] 83cutlass,[20]Curse ov Dialect,[21]Busdriver,[22] and Cavanaugh (Open Mike Eagle & Serengeti).[23]

In March 2016, he appeared on the track "Protectors of the Heat" on Open Mike Eagle & Paul White's album "Hella Personal Film Festival"[24][25] 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).[26][27] This track also includes vocals by Marilyn Carino.[26]
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.[28]
In early May, Watercolor Werewolf released the album AM Nights: 92.3 The Beast featuring Hemlock Ernst on the track "WWhat u WWaitin 4"[29] on May 19, Charge It To The Game released "Bite Me" - also featuring Hemlock Ernst - as first single of the EP Urban Hall Of Fame[30][31] and on July 4, 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[32] and collaborated with BadBadNotGood on the 2016 track "Time Moves Slow", off their album IV. A collaboration with Clams Casino on the track "Ghost in a Kiss" off the album 32 Levels was released on July 7, 2016.[33]



  • Trouble Knows Me (as Trouble Knows Me and with Madlib) (September 1, 2015)[10]

Guest appearances as Samuel T. Herring

Guest appearances as Hemlock Ernst

  • Rapdragons -- "Gotta Go" from Featuring Baltimore (June 2010)[16]
  • Gangrene (The Alchemist & Oh No) -- "Play It Cool" (as Samuel T. Herring) feat. Earl Sweatshirt from Welcome to Los Santos (April 2015)[32]
  • Scallops Hotel -- "Lavender Chunk" from Plain Speaking (May 2015)[34]
  • 83cutlass -- "Wicked Kingdom" feat. Hemlock Ernst & Josephine Olivia (July 2015)[35]
  • Curse ov Dialect -- "Twisted Strangers" from Twisted Strangers (March 2016)[36]
  • Milo -- "Souvenir" from So the Flies Don't Come (September 2015)[37]
  • Busdriver -- "Ministry of the Torture Couch" from Thumbs (November 2015)[38]
  • Cavanaugh (Open Mike Eagle & Serengeti) -- "Typecast" feat. P.O.S. & Busdriver from Time & Materials (November 2015)[39]
  • Cavanaugh -- "Lemons" from Time & Materials (November 2015)[40]
  • Open Mike Eagle & Paul White -- "Protectors of the Heat" from Hella Personal Film Festival (March 2016)[24][41][25]
  • Words Hurt (rapper Alaska & producer Lang Vo) -- "This Is Where I Leave You" from Fuck That Pretty Boy Shit (April 2016)[26]
  • Boy Legs -- "Something Out There" from Pinball Museum (April 2016)[28]
  • Watercolor Warewolf (producer Scoop DeVille & multi-media artist Michael Sterling Eaton) -- "WWhat u WWaitin 4" from AM Nights: 92.3 The Beast (May 2016)[29]
  • Charge It to the Game (rapper Fat Tony & producer Kyle Mabson) from Urban Hall of Fame (May 2016)[30][31]
  • JPEGMAFIA -- "Llama Mind" from The 2nd Amendment (July 2016)
  • Drew Scott -- "Dead Cupid" feat. Anna Notte from Rando's (August 27, 2016)
  • Bond St. District -- "Terror Era" feat. Eze Jackson A Church on Vulcan (September 2, 2016)
  • Drew Scott -- "Porcelain" feat. Eze Jackson, and 83 Cutlass from ILL VESSEL (2017)[42]
  • Passage -- Krang - "Total Reduction Remix" (w/ Eze Jackson, Height Keech, Mickey Free) from Worked On, March 2017 [43]
  • Billy Woods -- "Illegal Tints" (August 15, 2017) [44]
  • Busdriver -- "Tiny Infinities feat" from Electricity is on our Side, June 2018


  1. ^ Vi, Natasha (20 April 2014). "Future Islands - The Observatory - 04/15/14". www.soundbysight.com. Sound By Sight. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  2. ^ Pelly, Jenn (23 March 2014). "Future Islands Frontman Samuel T. Herring Is Also a Rapper, Watch Him in Action". pitchfork.com. Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2015.
  3. ^ a b Young, Alex (11 October 2011). "Interview: Samuel T. Herring (of Future Islands)". www.consequenceofsound.net. Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 2015.
  4. ^ Hill, Corbie (26 March 2014). "Future Islands' international star is rising, but their roots run back to North Carolina". www.indyweek.com. Indy Week. Retrieved 2015.
  5. ^ Saincome, Matt (23 September 2015). "Sam Herring: The Late-Night Big Bad Wolf". www.sfweekly.com/. SF Weekly. Retrieved 2015.
  6. ^ a b Stern, Marlow (3 April 2014). "Future Islands Frontman Samuel T. Herring on Their 11-Year Journey to Letterman and Viral Stardom". www.thedailybeast.com/. The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2015.
  7. ^ Woolever, Lydia (22 April 2015). "Listen to Future Islands' Sam Herring Rap on a New Track". www.baltimoremagazine.net/. Baltimore Magazine. Retrieved 2015.
  8. ^ Stacey, Stacey (27 August 2010). "Flesh Epic Brings the Beat to Berkeley". www.newraleigh.com/. New Raleigh. Retrieved 2015.
  9. ^ Weekes, Jabbari (7 July 2014). "Future Islands talk alter egos, the Smashing Pumpkins, and the upside to being sad". www.aux.tv. AUX Music Network. Retrieved 2015.
  10. ^ a b Beauchemin, Molly (17 July 2015). "Future Islands' Sam Herring Teams With Madlib for Rap Project Trouble Knows Me, Shares Track". pitchfork.com. Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2015.
  11. ^ Reed, Ryan (17 July 2015). "Future Islands, Madlib Unite for Collaborative Hip-Hop EP". www.rollingstone.com/. Rolling Stone Magazine. Retrieved 2015.
  12. ^ "Rappcats » Trouble Knows Me". www.rappcats.com. Retrieved .
  13. ^ "Rappcats » Photos: Madlib, Sam Herring in Chicago". www.rappcats.com. Retrieved .
  14. ^ "Future Islands' Sam Herring Teams With Madlib for Rap Project Trouble Knows Me, Shares Track". Pitchfork. Retrieved .
  15. ^ Yoo, Noah (24 March 2016). "Four Tet Shares Unreleased Madlib, Future Islands' Sam Herring, Pearson Sound Tracks on BBC Radio 1". Pitchfork. Pitchfork. Retrieved .
  16. ^ a b Gillespie, Blake (28 June 2010). "Rap Dragons, Featuring Baltimore". www.imposemagazine.com. Impose Magazine. Retrieved 2015.
  17. ^ "Rapdragons Shows". rapdragons.ltdcomp.com. Rapdragons. Retrieved 2015.
  18. ^ Mehnert, Paul (30 October 2015). "'Sco Continues Year of Impressive Acts with Hellfyre Club Rapper Milo". oberlinreview.org/. The Oberlin. Retrieved 2015.
  19. ^ Minsker, Evan (21 April 2015). "Future Islands' Samuel T. Herring Raps on New Scallops Hotel Track". pitchfork.com. Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2015.
  20. ^ Weigel, Brandon (9 July 2015). "Listen to the 83 Cutlass track featuring Sam from Future Islands and Josephine from Blacksage". www.citypaper.com. City Paper. Retrieved 2015.
  21. ^ Pitchfork (16 September 2015). "Future Islands' Sam Herring Revives Rap Alias Hemlock Ernst in Curse Ov Dialect's "Twisted Strangers" Video". pitchfork.com. Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2015.
  22. ^ Breihan, Tom (10 November 2015). "Busdriver - "Ministry Of The Torture Couch" (Feat. Future Islands' Samuel T. Herring)". www.stereogum.com. Stereogum. Retrieved 2015.
  23. ^ Innis, Charles (18 November 2015). "Cavanaugh - "Typecast" (Feat. P.O.S., Hemlock Ernst, & Busdriver) (Stereogum Premiere)". www.stereogum.com. Stereogum. Retrieved 2015.
  24. ^ a b "Open Mike Eagle and Paul White Team for Hella Personal Film Festival, Share "Check to Check"". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved .
  25. ^ a b Reeves, Mosi (18 March 2016). "Review: Open Mike Eagle and Paul White Get Up Close and Well, You Know, on 'Hella Personal Film Festival'". spin.com. SPIN. Retrieved 2016.
  26. ^ a b c "Words Hurt - "Chekhov's Gun" b/w "This Is Where I Leave You" feat. Hemlock Ernst". ugsmag.com. ugsmag. 1 April 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  27. ^ Orcutt, KC (31 August 2015). "Music Monday: 12 Questions With Words Hurt". 12ozprophet.com. 12ozProphet News. Archived from the original on 25 April 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  28. ^ a b Brose, Austin (11 May 2016). "Crop Circle Club: a portrait of a record label's crash landing in Boone". amplifiergso.com. Amplifier Magazine. Retrieved 2016.
  29. ^ a b Sanchez, Tim (5 May 2016). "Stream The New Album By Scoop Deville's Group "Watercolor Werewolf"". www.raptalk.net/. raptalk.net. Retrieved 2016.
  30. ^ a b Gelfand, Zac (19 May 2016). "Charge It To The Game - "Bite Me" (Feat. Hemlock Ernst) (Stereogum Premiere)". www.stereogum.com. Stereogum. Retrieved 2016.
  31. ^ a b Gillepsie, Blake (19 May 2016). "Face it, Samuel T. Herring is a rapper". imposemagazine.com. Impose Magazine. Retrieved 2016.
  32. ^ a b Kaye, Ben (6 March 2015). "Future Islands' Samuel T. Herring and Earl Sweatshirt team on "Play It Cool" -- listen". consequenceofsound.net. Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 2015.
  33. ^ a b Pearce, Sheldon (9 June 2016). "Clams Casino Reveals 32 Levels Tracklist". pitchfork.com. Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2016.
  34. ^ "Plain Speaking, by scallops hotel". milo. Retrieved .
  35. ^ https://soundcloud.com/83cutlass/wicked-kingdom
  36. ^ "Future Islands' Sam Herring Revives Rap Alias Hemlock Ernst in Curse Ov Dialect's "Twisted Strangers" Video". Pitchfork.
  37. ^ "milo: so the flies don't come". Pitchfork. Retrieved .
  38. ^ "Ministry of the Torture Couch (prod. by Elos feat. Hemlock Ernst), by Busdriver". Busdriver. Retrieved .
  39. ^ "Cavanaugh - "Typecast" (Feat. P.O.S., Hemlock Ernst, & Busdriver) (Stereogum Premiere)". Stereogum. Retrieved .
  40. ^ "Lemons (feat. Hemlock Ernst), by Cavanaugh (Open Mike Eagle & Serengeti)". Open Mike Eagle. Retrieved .
  41. ^ "Hella Personal Film Festival, by Open Mike Eagle & Paul White". Open Mike Eagle. Retrieved .
  42. ^ "Listen to Drew Scott's 'Porcelain' featuring Hemlock Ernst, Eze Jackson, and 83 Cutlass". Baltimore City Paper. Retrieved .
  43. ^ "Passage - Worked On". UGSMAG. Retrieved .
  44. ^ "Premiere: billy woods - 'Illegal Tints' + Interview". Grown Up Rap. Retrieved .

External links

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