Erik Francis Schrody (born August 18, 1969 in Valley Stream, New York), known by his stage name Everlast, is an American rapper, singer, and songwriter, known for his solo hit "What It's Like" and as the front-man for rap group House of Pain. He was also part of the hip-hop supergroup La Coka Nostra, which consists of members of House of Pain and other rappers. In 2000, he won a Grammy for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal with Latin Rock musician Carlos Santana for "Put Your Lights On."
Early career and House of Pain:
Emerging as a member of the Rhyme Syndicate, Everlast's first solo album Forever Everlasting (1990), largely made possible by MC Ice-T, was a disappointment commercially. Following the album's failure, Everlast teamed up with DJ Lethal and high school friend Danny Boy to form House of Pain. The group was signed to Tommy Boy Records, and their eponymous debut album (1992) went multi-platinum, spawning the successful DJ Muggs produced single "Jump Around". This song was also remixed twice by Pete Rock, one version featuring a verse from him and one without. The album also featured Cypress Hill member, B-Real, on the song "Put Your Head Out".
Fashioning themselves as rowdy Irish American hooligans (Lethal is actually of Latvian heritage), they toured with various rap and alternative-rock bands such as The Ramones, Beastie Boys and Rage Against the Machine after their breakthrough. They participated together with Helmet, along with several other rap acts, on the influential 1993 rock-rap collaborative Judgment Night movie soundtrack (Everlast also played a villain in the film). The group eventually disbanded in 1996, and Everlast once again pursued a solo career.
Whitey Ford Sings the Blues and Eat at Whitey's:
Everlast's second solo album Whitey Ford Sings the Blues (1998)--which was released a full eight years after his solo debut and after he had a major heart attack--was both a commercial and critical success (selling more than 3 million copies). Whitey Ford Sings the Blues was hailed for its blend of rap with acoustic and electric guitars, developed by Everlast together with producers Dante Ross and John Gamble. The album's lead single "What It's Like" proved to be his most popular and successful song, although the follow-up single, "Ends", also reached the U.S. rock top 10.
Everlast followed-up this success by collaborating with Santana on the track "Put Your Lights On" on Santana's 1999 album Supernatural. It charted at #118 on the pop chart, but did considerably better with rock radio airplay, peaking at #8 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. "Put Your Lights On" won Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal at the 2000 Grammy Awards.
Despite the success of Whitey Ford Sings the Blues and his success with Santana, Everlast's follow-up album, Eat at Whitey's (2000), stumbled commercially at first in the United States. However, it was eventually certified gold. The album was also embraced critically, especially by Rolling Stone Magazine which reviewed the album between "good" and "great" and focused on it as that month's most important release.
Shortly after both artists contributed tracks to the End of Days soundtrack, a feud erupted between Everlast and Eminem. Eminem and Everlast crossed paths before a concert in early 1999. Eminem says he did not greet Everlast because he did not recognize him right away, and said Everlast did not acknowledge him. Everlast's version is that he tried to congratulate Eminem on his success, and Eminem blew him off. Either way, Everlast's verse from the Dilated Peoples all star track "Ear Drums Pop (Remix)" contained a thinly veiled reference to Eminem ("Cock my hammer, spit a comet like Haley/I buck a .380 on ones that act shady"), and went on to warn "You might catch a beatdown out where I come from" in his recounting of the incident.
Eminem, in turn, blasted Everlast several times in public and with the song "I Remember (Dedication to Whitey Ford)" released as the B-side to his group D12's 12" vinyl single "Shit on You." In it, Eminem talks about how he remembered Everlast's music, however, now "Kid Rock and Limp Bizkit came along."
Everlast responded with the track "Whitey's Revenge," released only on his official website. Whereas the song contained references to Eminem's strained relationships with his wife and mother, it was "Better run and check your kid for your DNA", again referring to Eminem's daughter, Hailie Jade Mathers, that set Eminem off. The track ends with the spoken words, "I ain't wasting no more time with you man. Fuck that shit, That's it" Eminem & D12 responded with "Quitter," the second half of which is a take off on 2Pac's "Hit 'Em Up" (a diss song mainly aimed at The Notorious B.I.G.). The track ends with the spoken words, "Fuck him, that's it, I'm done, I promise, I'm done, that's it." It was reported that long-time friends of Eminem, group Limp Bizkit, were meant to be featured on "Quitter", but Fred Durst canceled at the last moment. The record continued its release without featuring Limp Bizkit, causing the Everlast-Mathers dispute to continue. Everlast echoed similar sentiment on the status of this feud, stating in various interviews that he felt everything had been said and he would now refrain from further responses. However, following Eminem's disses towards them on "Quitter", Evidence & Dilated Peoples, responded with the track, "Search 4 Bobby Fisher." In a TRL interview, Limp Bizkit member DJ Lethal made a statement that if Mathers and Everlast were to fight in real life, Everlast would win. This angered Eminem to the point of rage, and an insulting track aimed at both Everlast and Limp Bizkit appeared on D12's mainstream debut, Devil's Night, as a hidden track called "Girls".
According to a 2010 Vibe interview with Eminem, the beef has been quashed since then and there is a mutual respect between Mathers and Everlast. Further indicating an end to lyrical hostilities between the two, Eminem seemingly gave a shout out to Everlast on The Marshall Mathers LP 2 song entitled "Baby" in which Eminem raps that he is: "a mixture of Whitey Ford and Mighty Thor, I Everlast, pen is mightier than sword...". In a 2013 hiphopdx interview, fellow La Coka Nostra rapper Slaine confirmed that Everlast and Eminem had made amends and were featured on a Busta Rhymes track together that was due to be released.
Tommy Boy sells to Warner Bros.:
After the sale of the Tommy Boy Records' catalog of master tapes to Warner Bros. Records and its metamorphosis to a dance music label in 2002, Everlast was without a label, but in 2003 he signed with Island/Def Jam. His fourth solo album, White Trash Beautiful (2004), was subsequently released after almost a four-year hiatus.
La Coka Nostra:
In early 2006, Everlast teamed up with his former House of Pain mates DJ Lethal and Danny Boy to join the hip-hop group La Coka Nostra. The group first came to be due to the former House of Pain Hype man Danny Boy starting the group as a collective with rappers Slaine and Big Left (who has since left the group). Soon after the group started Ill Bill of a now disbanded Non Phixion and Everlast joined the group. Their first known song was "Fuck Tony Montana" which features B-Real of Cypress Hill and Sick Jacken. Due to the popularity of the song online, the group released several more online for free.
The group's debut album A Brand You Can Trust was released on July 14, 2009. The album features guests like Snoop Dogg, B-Real, Bun B, Immortal Technique, Sick Jacken and Q-Unique. La Coka Nostra then joined the likes of Nas and Ill Bill's brother Necro on Rock The Bells.
Everlast left the group in 2012 in order to attend to his daughter's medical issues.
In 2007 Everlast was chosen to do the theme song for the TV show Saving Grace. The song plays during the show's main title sequence, and was originally released to digital outlets only, however, it was also included on Everlast's fifth solo album, Love, War and the Ghost of Whitey Ford. The album was released on September 23, 2008, on Everlast's own record label Martyr Inc, with distribution by Hickory Records/Sony/ATV Music Publishing (It was revealed through diditleak.co.uk that the album leaked out early on Friday August 29). A second single and video, "Letter Home From The Garden Of Stone", was released for free download from martyr-inc.com in December 2007. The third single, a cover of Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues", was released to download on August 19. The Video for "Stone in My Hand" debuted on the martyr-inc website on October 28, 2008 making it the fourth video for the album.
In October 2011, his sixth solo album, Songs of the Ungrateful Living, was released through Martyr Inc. in partnership with EMI. On August 27, 2013, his seventh solo album The Life Acoustic was released via his own record label Martyr Inc.
Everlast is of Irish descent and a convert to Islam from Catholicism; having pronounced his shahadah (formal requirement to become a Muslim) in 1996. He married former model and April 2005 Penthouse Pet (under the pseudonym "Cassia Riley") Lisa Schrody in May 2009. They have two daughters. Their firstborn was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis in 2009 shortly after birth.
In 2013, Everlast sued an inflatables company for using the phrase "If You Want To Get Down Jump Around" in their advertising, arguing it belonged to House of Pain.
Awards and nominations:
Jump Around (with House of Pain)
Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group
Put Your Lights On (with Santana)
Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group
What It's Like
Best Rock Male Performance
Musical style and influences:
Everlast's music ranges from blues to hip hop and rock. His influences include N.W.A., Beastie Boys, Cypress Hill, Ice-T, Gang Starr, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young and Run-D.M.C.
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license