In this episode of People’s Party, Talib Kweli and Jasmin Leigh sit down with singer, rapper, actor, and songwriter Everlast, aka Whitey Ford. This in-depth interview covers the full career arc of a man who has been able to reinvent himself time after time, the way few others in the music game have been able to pull off.
The interview starts with Everlast discussing being born in New York and moving to LA a few years later, where he gained a love for graffiti and started writing rhymes in the late ’80s. He lays out how he was put on Ice-T’s Rhyme Syndicate collective, along with his close friend Divine Styler. He goes on to detail his transition to House Of Pain, after linking up with DJ Lethal and DJ Muggs. Later, Everlast shares the backstory of HOP’s iconic hit ‘Jump Around’, and explains how the track came out at the same time as Kris Kross’s ‘Jump’ — due to a Ruffhouse executive stealing the concept.
Later, the conversation moves to House Of Pain’s Irish hooligan identity and how that came into play in their music. Everlast also talks about House Of Pain’s role in the late 90’s Rap/Rock scene, his song ‘Legend’ dedicated to Kurt Cobain, the making of the movie and soundtrack to ‘Judgement Night’, and — finally — the band’s breakup. He details his struggles with depression in the aftermath of HOP’s disbanding, before finding his new identity as ‘Whitey Ford.’
Prompted by Kweli and Jasmin, Everlast goes on to discuss his beef with Eminem, and how it eventually got squashed with the help of B-Real from Cypress Hill. He also talks about working with Santana on ‘Put Your Lights On’, as well as his experiences at Def Jam Records. He speaks on his super-group La Coka Nostra being created on the fly with late-night recording sessions featuring the likes of Ill Bill, Sick Jacken, and B-Real. The conversation starts to get real when they touch on Everlast’s quest for his spiritual identity, and he opens up about the birth of his first child Laila and her diagnosis with Cystic Fibrosis. He also speaks on his favorite of all his projects ‘Whitey Ford’s House Of Pain’, Donald Trump supporters, America being a corporation, gives aspiring artists advice about not compromising their creative integrity, and tells us what Everlast aka Whitey Ford has in store for the future.