Everlast's Top Five Most Influential West Coast Rap Albums
As a teenager, Everlast was a graf writer. He made a couple tapes with his buddies, and the next thing he knew he was part of Ice-T's Rhyme Syndicate crew. He, Danny Boy and DJ Lethal formed House of Pain, and the DJ Muggs'-produced "Jump Around" prompted a label bidding war and propelled House of Pain into hip-hop history.
But Everlast was not a fad. "I've made a living making music for 20-some odd years now," he says, surrounded by graffiti in his Studio City studio. "Not a lot of people can say that." But though his new album is drenched in whiskey and blues, he asserts that he's still as hip-hop as ever. To prove it, he told us about the top five West Coast rap albums that influenced him.
4. Cypress Hill
"Their first album changed the game and saved hip hop at a time when it was really boring. There were a couple of times in hip hop that there was a lull. Public Enemy's It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back saved it at one point, and five, four years later it went through another lull, and Cypress Hill stepped up. Anybody that is a fan of hip-hop music tells you the first time they heard that they didn't get chills? I don't know what's wrong with 'em."
"This was probably the first one as far as what influenced me. I was already doin' it when he first came out and I remember I liked that one a lot. I knew 'Pac. Real sweet dude. I wasn't around for a lot of that craziness at the end. I was kinda there in the middle of his career. He lived right down the block from me here in the Valley.
I don't think anything about dude was fake. I think, toward the end, he was playing up--like the whole catch-22 Hunter S. Thompson had, where he had to live up to his drugged-out party animal [reputation]. Tupac had built this image that was larger-than-life, Black Panther, thugged-out, street hero character that he had to live up to, and it greatly added to the time and place he passed on. I believe firmly you can call shit into existence. I don't mean it in a spooky, devilish way, but it's just like people believe in the philosophy of positive visualization."