by Sean Smith
Erik Schrody, better known by his stage name Everlast, has dedicated the past 24 years of his life to the music industry. He started out in the business as a solo rapper releasing his debut album Forever Everlasting in 1990. He then, along with DJ Lethal and Danny Boy, formed the rap group House of Pain best known for their 1992 hit single “Jump Around”. Despite the success of the group, Everlast would ultimately leave House of Pain to embark once again in pursuit of a successful solo career. However, rather than putting out another solo rap album he instead created music which was a fusion of rap, rock, and blues. This musical fusion turned out to be quite successful for Everlast, as his 1998 album Whitey Ford Sings the Blues was met with commercial success and critical acclaim thanks in large part to his hit single “What It’s Like”.
One of the key factors behind the success of “What It’s Like” was the way in which Everlast not only blended the genre’s of rap, rock, and blues in the song, but the way in which he was able to take troubling issues facing everyday people in society and lend voice to them in song. In other words, his new blended genre of music was both socially aware as well as relatable to his everyman audience through the story telling method in which he presented his music.
The Everlast album that perhaps best exemplifies his abilities to write songs that are both socially aware as well as relatable to the common man came in 2012 with the release of his Songs of the Ungrateful Dead album. It was in this album that he wrote songs that dealt heavily with the struggles that many Americans faced at the time with a bad economy, the ongoing sub-prime mortgage crisis, and a nation at war. On track after track on Songs of the Ungrateful Dead, Everlast was able to create music that people who were facing a tough daily reality could identify and relate to in an honest way. And as good as he was on that album making music that others could personally relate to, one of the best songs on that album was born out of a situation that was unique to his own personal life.
Everlast has a young daughter who shortly after her birth was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease which causes issues with the respiratory system. He wrote the song “Sixty-Five Roses” which speaks to the hardships that his wife and he went through trying to deal with the news that their daughter was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. “Sixty-Five Roses” got it’s title because when many young children try to say cystic fibrosis it often sounds like they are saying sixty-five roses. It is an emotionally moving song that, especially after learning of the personal origins behind the record, deserves to be recognized as one of the better songs in Everlast’s musical catalogue. If you haven’t heard it before it’s worth a listen below. Also, you can learn more about cystic fibrosis and donate to help find a cure for this genetic disease by visiting The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation website here.
“Sixty Five Roses”
From: Songs From The Ungrateful Living