House of Pain Biography

Hardcore Irish American hip-hoppers whose origins can be traced to Taft High School in Los Angeles (former students of which include Ice Cube). The outfit comprised lead rapper Everlast (Erik Schrody, 18 August 1969, Valley Stream, New York, USA), his co-lyricist Danny Boy (b. Daniel O’Connor, USA), and DJ Lethal (b. Leor DiMant, Latvia). Everlast was originally signed to Warner Brothers Records, and was often to be seen ‘hanging’ with Ice-T and his Rhyme Syndicate at that time. With House Of Pain he reached US number 3 in summer 1992 with the addictive ‘Jump Around’, a good example of the street poetry hybrid which they branded ‘Fine malt lyricism’. ‘Jump Around’ seemed to offer the pinnacle in House Of Pain’s career, however. Their debut album, recorded with DJ Muggs of Cypress Hill, gloried in self-styled Gaelic dressing. ‘Shamrocks And Shenanigans (Boom Shalock Lock Boom)’, an ode to their spurious links with the Emerald Isle, contained a novelty sample of David Bowie’s ‘Fame’. Elsewhere the album’s grooves were populated with familiar, dumb macho lines.

No strangers to controversy, House Of Pain were involved in two near riots on their 1993 tour with Rage Against The Machine. Once in Baltimore when they refused to take the stage, and again when a member of the band’s road crew was assaulted by security staff at a Manchester Academy gig. This was only a matter of days after the rapper had been arrested at JFK Airport in New York for illegal possession of a handgun. Such incidents led to his being subject to a tracking device and house arrest for three months in 1994. The press were also starting to ask awkward questions about Sinn Fein tattoos. Everlast also ventured into the film world, appearing in both the US rap vehicle Who’s The Man (alongside Public Enemy, Heavy D), and the Dennis Leary movie, Judgement Day, where, unsurprisingly, he played a gangster. House Of Pain also opened a pizza restaurant, in partnership with Mickey Rourke (House Of Pizza). Same As It Ever Was, despite the title, proved to be a much more impressive outing, with Everlast unleashing his frustration with his ‘imprisonment’ and the media in tracks like ‘Back From The Dead’. The rapper quit the music business in 1996 following the break-up of House Of Pain. He returned to recording in 1998 with the surprise US bestseller, Whitey Ford Sings The Blues. DJ Lethal joined the hugely popular alternative rock band, Limp Bizkit.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

Filter Results