House of Pain is an Irish-American hip-hop group who released three albums in the early to mid 1990s before lead rapper Everlast decided to pursue his solo career again. The group is best known for its 1992 hit single "Jump Around", which reached #3 in the United States, #6 in Ireland and #8 in the United Kingdom.
Rise to fame
After a brief unsuccessful solo career, Everlast teamed up with DJ Lethal and high school friend Danny Boy to form House of Pain (a name taken in from H.G. Wells' The Island of Dr. Moreau). The group was signed to Tommy Boy Records, and their eponymous debut album (1992) went multi-platinum, spawning the successful DJ Muggs produced single "Jump Around". This song was also remixed twice by Pete Rock, one version featuring a verse from him and one without. The album also featured Cypress Hill member, B-Real, on the song "Put Your Head Out".
Fashioning themselves as rowdy Irish-American hooligans (Lethal is actually of Latvian heritage), they toured with various rap and alternative-rock bands after their breakthrough. They participated together with Helmet, along with several other rap acts, on the influential 1993 rock-rap collaborative Judgment Night movie soundtrack.
Second album and decline in popularity
Their follow-up album, 1994's Same As It Ever Was, went gold despite minimal airplay and no major hits. The first single, "On Point," is noted for taking a swipe at another American rapper with a strong Irish heritage, "Marky Mark" (Mark Wahlberg) ("Calvin Klein's no friend of mine/So I don't like Marky"). Like Cypress Hill, who, with House of Pain, were a part of the loosely-affiliated Soul Assassins posse, they found urban radio airplay an increasingly closed path, which affected album sales.
House of Pain abruptly broke up in 1996 after the release of their third album, Truth Crushed To Earth Shall Rise Again, which featured guest appearances by rappers Sadat X of Brand Nubian, Guru of Gang Starr, producer/rapper Divine Styler and reggae singjay Cockni O'Dire (credited as the Scheme Team). On the release date of the album, Everlast announced his departure from the group.
Split, solo and current affairs
From this point on, the status of the group would seem to be in the past tense, though the members would continue their careers separately. Danny Boy would found an art company. DJ Lethal became a member of nu metal band Limp Bizkit, who would cover the famous "Jump Around" at live concerts, particularly in Limp Bizkit's early years during the Family Values Tour 1998. Everlast would finally get multi-platinum solo fame in 1998 with his acoustic rock/blues-inflected album Whitey Ford Sings the Blues The first single from that album was "What It's Like". In 2000, a feud between Everlast and rapper Eminem coincided with the gold-selling Eat at Whitey's, which included minor hits "Black Jesus" and "Black Coffee", and featured a collaboration with Carlos Santana. After the sale of the Tommy Boy Records' master tapes to Warner Bros. Music, Everlast signed with Island/Def Jam, and released the solo LP White Trash Beautiful in 2004.
Later the same year Rhino Records, a subdivision of Warner Music, released a hit collection, Shamrocks & Shenanigans, with singles from Everlast's early solo days, the House of Pain and his post-group solo efforts. Before the release, Everlast announced on his official message board that he was not endorsing the compilation album.
Founded by Danny Boy in early 2006, La Coka Nostra is a new project that has reunited him, Everlast and DJ Lethal for the first time since House of Pain's split. Other group members include Ill Bill of Non Phixion, and newcomers Slaine and Big Left.
House of Pain have reunited for the Rock the Bells hip-hop tour of 2009.
In popular culture
"Jump Around" is played at various sporting events in North America, from football to hockey (best-known example is the student celebration occurring at the end of the third quarter of every Wisconsin Badgers home football game at Camp Randall Stadium). It is used in many television and cinema productions, such as in the 1993 film Mrs. Doubtfire, the 1997 film Happy Gilmore, the TV series My Name Is Earl, and in commercials for Strongbow Cider in Australia, Mars Bar in the United Kingdom and for Pringles in the US. It also played in the American film Black Hawk Down and in a Bridgestone tire commercial aired during 2009's NFL Super Bowl.
The group was briefly featured on the 2002 VH1 program 100 Greatest One-Hit Wonders in where "Jump Around" got ranked #63 on the list.
"Top o' The Morning to Ya" is used in the 2003 film Daredevil when Bullseye made his first appearance.
In 2007, comedian Des Bishop had the lyrics translated into Irish (with the title "L?Šim thart") when working on the RT?? series In the Name of the Fada.
UFC Fighter Marcus "The Irish Hand Grenade" Davis uses "Jump Around" as his entrance theme, preceded by a quote from the movie The Boondock Saints.
"I'm A Swing It" is featured on the soundtrack of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 video game.
"Top O' The Mornin' to Ya" was used in the 1994 film Heat when Vincent Hanna (Al Pacino) enters the club to meet an informant named Richard.