Everlast is a singer-songwriter who moves fluidly between hip-hop, rock and country. Erik « Everlast » Schrody started off as a protégé of Los Angeles hip-hop icon Ice-T. His career has evolved from being the frontman of a celebrated but short-lived rap group of the early ‘90s to a confessional solo artist who feels as comfortable rapping as he does covering a Johnny Cash song.
Everlast teamed up with Danny Boy and DJ Lethal to form the hip-hop group House of Pain. The group’s biggest smash was “Jump Around” from 1992, and both the single and the self-titled album that contained it went platinum.
With House of Pain behind him, Everlast decided to work on another solo record. The subsequent album, 1998’s double-platinum Whitey Ford Sings the Blues, mixed hip-hop, country, blues and rock, establishing the crossover strategy similar white rappers like Kid Rock would attempt in the following years. Everlast demonstrated he could be a soulful, engaging singer, particularly on the hit single “What It’s Like.”
Spurred on by the ascension of “What It’s Like” on the pop charts, Whitey Ford Sings the Blues became a fluke smash, perhaps guaranteeing that the follow-up would seem like a disappointment. Indeed, 2000’s Eat at Whitey’s felt like a less-inspired sequel to Blues, again merging different stylesinto a pleasing, coherent whole.
In 2008, Everlast returned with Love, War, and the Ghost of Whitey Ford. The album, released through Everlast’s own label, found the one-time rapper concentrating on acoustic ballads, gospel-inflected pop and hard rock. However, the album did feature a hip-hop version of Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues.”