By Bad Seed
http://www.A3Network.com. Everlast "The Stone In My Hand" Everlast is a singer-songwriter who moves fluidly between hip-hop, rock and country. Born in 1969 in Long Island, New York, Everlast (whose real name is Erik 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.
An Early Solo Outing:
After gaining street cred from Ice-T's approval of his rhyming skills, Everlast released his first solo album, Forever Everlasting, in 1990. Though the album wasn't a success, Forever Everlasting did establish certain elements of Everlast's appeal: a gritty flow, a likeable presence, and a willingness to speak from the heart about personal subject matter. Forever Everlasting didn't wow audiences, but it laid the foundation for the rapper's next project.
House of Pain:
Shortly after cutting Forever Everlasting, Everlast teamed up with Danny Boy and DJ Lethal to form the hip-hop group House of Pain. Over the course of three albums, House of Pain celebrated Everlast and Danny Boy's Irish heritage through hard beats and party anthems. The group's biggest smash was "Jump Around" from 1992, and both the single and the self-titled album that contained it went platinum. House of Pain's last album, Truth Crushed to Earth Shall Rise Again, came out in 1996. Everlast left the band the day Truth was released.
Becoming Whitey Ford:
With House of Pain behind him, Everlast decided to work on another solo record, although its sound would be more varied than the rap-centric Forever Everlasting. Adopting a persona he dubbed Whitey Ford, Everlast wrote self-critical songs that looked candidly at the failures in his life. 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."
Moving Further Away From Hip-Hop:
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 styles into a pleasing, coherent whole. It would be four years until Everlast released another record. White Trash Beautiful moved further away from rap as the singer-songwriter pursued country and blues.