Veteran rapper Everlast (also known as Erick Schrody) releases his seventh full-length studio recording this Friday. It will be his first full album of new material in seven years, and in listening through this record, it can be said that the wait was worth it as this record shows several different sides of Everlast, from influences from his days with House of Pain and his solo work. From start to end, listeners get something different with each song. One of the most notable of the album’s offerings comes late in the album’s run in the form of the soulful, upbeat ‘Break It Down.’ It shows just one of those noted sides from Everlast in this record and will be discussed shortly. The album’s lead single, ‘The Culling’ shows yet another interesting side of Everlast. It will be discussed a little later. ‘Slow Your Role (ft. Aloe Blacc) is yet another of the album’s most notable entries. Each song noted here is important in its own right to the whole of Whitey Ford’s House of Pain. When they are considered alongside the likes of ‘Oooohh (I Don’t Need You ft. Slug), ‘The Wall’ and ‘Don’t Complain,’ this record marks a strong return for Everlast.
Everlast’s latest full-length studio recording Whitey Ford’s House of Pain is a strong return for the veteran rapper. That is thanks to a mix of songs whose stylistic and lyrical approaches pull from every point in his career up to this point. Case in point is the song ‘Break It Down,’ which comes very late in the album’s run. The song’s musical arrangement conjures thoughts of Michael Franti interestingly enough thanks to the coupling of Everlast’s guitar playing and an equally upbeat organ line. The two elements form the foundation of the arrangement while Everlast’s familiar “gravelly” vocal delivery adds even more touch to that presentation. The song’s positive lyrical content builds on that foundation, making the song that much more certain to be a hit with fans. It’s clearly a song of hope as is inferred as Everlast half raps half sings, “Cold and lonely/New York December/Girl, I’m everything I remember/Every day I got Memphis on my mind/Written cards and I’ve been calling/Girl, It’s hard as I’ve been fallin’/A heart gets broken almost every time/Now I’m bringing it home to you, baby, come home/I’ve been building this wall around my heart for so long/I’m bringing me home to you, baby, come home/Girl, you’ve got to want to be around/You can help me break it down.”
He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “Old friends, like leaves, are scattered/Where everything still mattered/Sometimes things just never go your way/Bruised and broke, but I’m survivin’/All these miles that I’ve been driving/Got all my hopes in this blue Chevrolet/Now I’m bringing it home to you, baby, come home/I’ve been building this wall around my heart for so long/I’m bringing me home to you, baby, come home/Girl you’ve got to want to be around/You can help me break it down.” These two verses alone present someone who has been through a lot, but still has a certain amount of hope. It’s a work that is definitely relatable to so many people, because after all, who hasn’t been in those shoes at least once in life. Add in the upbeat vibe of the song’s musical arrangement, which itself does boast some hop-hop elements within its overall foundation to strengthen its presentation even more, and audiences get a song here that is a solid example of what makes Everlast’s new album so enjoyable. It’s just one of the songs that serves that end. ‘The Culling,’ the album’s lead single, is another example of what makes the song a welcome return for Everlast.
‘The Culling’ takes audiences back to Everlast’s days with House of Pain if only in its musical arrangement. That is because said arrangement is a pure rap work with a base that is full-on old-school hip-hop and rap. Again, Everlast’s familiar vocal delivery style adds even more to the arrangement’s impact to make the arrangement wholly entertaining in itself. It shows this song could succeed even just instrumentally. Of course it isn’t just an instrumental track. Rather, it’s a full-on commentary about the political and social state of the world today. Given, that’s nothing new to any genre, but the way in which Everlast approached that commentary here is interesting in its own right.
Everlast raps over the old-school arrangement, “The culling is coming/Grab your guns/Stack cash funds/Fathers teach your sons/When politicians talk/Assume they’re lying/Living on your knees/Much worse than dying.” This is just snapshot of Everlast’s commentary as it’s just the song’s chorus, but it makes the message quite clear. The song’s verses make commentary about things like spy drones, the Columbine shooting, the seeming increase in police violence and much more to help address that message. The illustration of that message is a rich picture, and is made even richer through the song’s companion video. While Everlast isn’t the only rapper to ever take on the nation’s social and political issues, this approach stands well on its own merits. When this is considered with the song’s infectious musical arrangement, the song in whole makes clear why it is another of the album’s most notable additions. In turn, it shows even more why Whitey Ford’s House of Pain is a welcome return for Everlast. It sill is not the last of the album’s most notable entries, either. ‘Slow Your Role (ft. Aloe Blacc) is another key addition to the album’s whole.
‘Slow Your Role (ft. Aloe Blacc)’ is another one of those works that crosses Everlast’s hop-hop and more rock oriented side thanks to the pairing of its bluesy guitar arrangement and its hip-hop beats. The song’s lyrical content adds just as much interest to the song as its musical content. That’s because Everlast raps here, “Firestarter/Born to die harder/Blow your whole armada clear out the water/Sun dry hotter/Hell’s much hotter…Some gotta love it/gotta get above it/Push a man, shove it till there ain’t enough of it/Spike in your vein/White lightning in your vein/But that habit’s gonna cost you your soul.” Right off the bat here, audiences get a picture of Everlast addressing the dangers of drug use. As he goes on in the second verse, there’s mention of getting a “baggie” from a man with the gold” and “waiting till they tag your toe” and that “death comes slow.” Blacc meanwhile sings about there being a place in Heaven when you go. This is before Everlast makes mention of related items like prostitutes, gun violence and other items. It comes across in whole as a lyrical story about life on the streets. That is just this critic’s interpretation of course and not the only interpretation. Either way, the picture that Everlast paints here is again a very rich illustration. When it is joined with the song’s musical arrangement, the end result is one more of the album’s most notable entries. It’s one more way in which Whitey Ford’s House of Pain proves to be a welcome return from Everlast. When it is considered along with the other songs discussed here and the rest of the album’s works, the album proves to be not only a welcome return for the veteran rapper, but a solid new effort from him, too.
Seven years after Everlast released his most recent collection of new music, he finally returns this week with another new collection of music. The record, Whitey Ford’s House of Pain is a strong new offering from the veteran rapper, who obviously has seen plenty of ups and downs in the time since he released that last album, 2011’s Songs of the Ungrateful Living. That is evidenced through a full collection of songs that pulls from every point in his career up to this point. That is pointed out through the songs discussed here. Between those songs, others such as ‘The Wall,’ ‘Don’t Complain’ and ‘Oooohh (I Don’t Need You ft. Slug), and the rest of the record’s entries, the album in whole proves to be a welcome return for Everlast. It will be available this Friday via Martyr, Inc. Records. More information on Whitey Ford’s House of Pain is available online now along with all of Everlast’s latest news and more at:
To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.