"What I'm trying to do is 'if Neil Young or Willie Nelson was a b-boy.'"
Erik Schrody, better known as Everlast, began his recording career in 1990 on Ice T's Rhyme Syndicate label with his debut release Forever Everlasting. On this album Everlast's rap roots were at the fore and his music was somewhat derivative and unspectacular, but he followed this foray by forming the band House of Pain with friends Danny O'Connor and DJ Lethal. While much of House of Pain's work was pretty average they hit the big time with the single Jump Around. For a period House of Pain was one of the foremost white hip hop groups in the world, and the group released three albums before going their seperate ways.
In 1998 Everlast reemerged as Whitey Ford and with a new faith (Islam) and released Whitey Ford Sings the Blues. In many ways this album marked the beginning of a new career for Schrody - it marked a radical departure from the standard hip hop/rap ethos by melding elements of folk, rock and hip hop into a richly varied collection of music. A standout was the single What It's Like, which brought Everlast to a whole new audience just as rap and spoken-word were becoming universally accessible forms of music. As an interesting aside, at the end of recording Whitey Ford Sings the Blues Everlast suffered a near fatal heart attack as a result of a congenital defect.
In 2000 Everlast took his fusion experiment one step further with the release of Eat At Whitey's. The album continued to move in the direction started by Whitey Ford Sings the Blues and featured a startling diversity of styles. The lyrical content also continued to improve, with a level of honesty not present in too much popular music. It also included a hefty dose of blues influence producing a rather unique flavour - one minute Whitey will be singing away in his Louis Armstrong-like way on the track Black Jesus, the next he's busting out rhymes with Cypress Hill's B Real on Deadly Assassins.
When asked about the name Whitey Ford, Everlast explained that he came up with it when considering the way in which typical rap and hip hop artists use tough-guy aliases to demonstrate how hardcore they are and decided that using the name of a great of American baseball was suitably left-field (no pun intended) to match his musical style: "I love the bluntness of it. Whitey Ford Sings The Blues is code for 'Everlast is bugging the fuck out.'" (Quoted on MTV.com).
1990 - Forever Everlasting
1998 - Whitey Ford Sings The Blues
2000 - Eat At Whitey's
With House of Pain:
1992 - House of Pain
1994 - Same as it Ever Was
1996 - Truth Crushed to Earth Shall Rise Again