Breaking into the early-'90s mainstream with rap unit House of Pain and their enduring hit "Jump Around," rapper and singer/songwriter Everlast successfully reinvented himself in 1998 with the multi-platinum Top Ten album Whitey Ford Sings the Blues, an acoustic-rock-meets-hip-hop genre crossover that included the storytelling hits "What It's Like" and "Ends." Riding the success of Whitey Ford, he won a Grammy in 2000 with the Santana collaboration "Put Your Lights On." While subsequent releases saw a steady decline on the charts, Everlast continued to issue albums into the 2010s, including Songs of the Ungrateful Living (2011) and Whitey Ford's House of Pain (2018).
Born Erik Schrody, Everlast first surfaced in Los Angeles as a member of Ice-T's Rhyme Syndicate Cartel, issuing his debut album, Forever Everlasting, in 1990. When the album failed to find an audience, he formed House of Pain with Danny Boy and DJ Lethal. Carving out an image that drew heavily on Everlast and Danny Boy's shared Irish heritage, the trio managed to overcome the stereotypes facing white rappers and scored a massive hit with their 1992 single "Jump Around." Their self-titled debut LP also went platinum, but when such follow-up efforts as 1994's Same as It Ever Was and 1996's Truth Crushed to Earth Shall Rise Again failed to repeat House of Pain's early success, the group disbanded.