Jun 14, 2017
Hell Has Frozen Over: Everlast is Back in the Hip Hop Game
One cool thing about music is that there’s always a chance to be pleasantly surprised. More often than I’d like to admit, I go into listening to stuff with a piss poor attitude that it’s going to suck, and then I come out feeling like an asshole because the music in question goes hard. Today’s review is no exception.
So, I’m scrolling through my podcast feed, and Joe Rogan pops up. I see he’s got Everlast on. I haven’t heard that name in a long time. I wasn’t into the whole Whitey Ford thing - my Everlast is wearing a Celtics jersey and rapping about Irish shit – the House of Pain Everlast. I figure, why not. Let’s see if this dude starts talking about some “Where Are They Now” scenario or whatever. I was genuinely interested in Everlast’s career trajectory and what he’s been up to.
The interview itself was good. These two, Joe Rogan and Everlast have a long-standing friendship, and it shines through in how they talk to one another. But, when Everlast started mentioning his new group, I was like, Nah. It’s gonna be corny. It’ll be some half-assed attempt at being relevant in an age where relevance changes hourly thanks to Internet culture. I was NOT into thinking about Everlast, the OG rapping alongside some dork with a Rose’ bottle and boat shoes. I assumed Everlast’s new group would suck.
And boy, was I dead fucking wrong.
Warporn Industries, Everlast’s new group doesn’t throw down, they wreck shop and leave the building in ruins. On their debut mixtape, (which is free for download), the group consisting of Everlast, Divine Styler, and Sick Jacken go prison yard hard for a bunch of dudes well into middle age. It’s 100% a coming home, a return form for Everlast, as he dusts off that razor sharp tongue once again.
The beats on the Warporn Industries mixtape crush, sampling Led Zeppelin, old doo-wop tunes, even jazz, and funk. There are no trap beats, no mumbles. This is straight west coast hip hop for folks who can’t relate to the radio or only listen to Backspin in the car. The bars that these old cats spit aren’t about what middle-aged men do, but instead examining the world that they’ve been brought up, but further, the world their kids are coming up in.
The songs are a collection of honorable stabs at the artform that many would say is losing its way. But, because it’s honest, because it’s a project built by a crew of dudes who’ve paid their dues, the energy isn’t driven by a false narrative, but instead, it’s a Rolodex of situational anger. There is no love lost for the current administration, for the culture of the country, and for the legacy, we’re leaving across the board.
If you’re a hip-hop fan, you need to give the Warporn Industries mixtape a listen. It’s free, and it slays. It’s a crime the project will go under the radar, but at least the shows will be packed with fans of the artform and not just because it’s the thing to do. But, really – that’s the basis of Everlast’s whole career: do what’s honest vs. what’s easy.