April 18, 2019
Todd plays the opening notes on his piano...
HOUSE OF PAIN - JUMP AROUND
A one-hit wonder retrospective
and starts bouncing to...
Video for "Jump Around"
Todd: [still bouncing] Welcome back to One Hit Wonderland, where we take a look at bands and artists known for only one song. [stops bouncing] Can we stop the music? [music stops] Sorry, can't talk and bounce at the same time. Now, as you may recall, a year ago, my car broke and, to pay for it, I [shows Patreon page] sold some requests, and, accidentally, I sold way too many. It's taken a while to get through them all, but, finally, a full 12 months later, I am finally finishing them. At last, I'm done, just in time for my [shows clip from The Blues Brothers where the Bluesmobile breaks down with caption "REENACTMENT" displayed below] car to break again. Next time, y'all are gonna buy me a new car, and I'll just do nothing but requests for the rest of my life. [opening clip of "Jump Around"] But as we finally put a stop to this stretch of videos, there is only one song for which we can pack it up and pack it in.
Everlast: I came to get down, I came to get down
So get out your seat and jump around!
Todd: [singing along] Jump up, jump up, and get down!
House of Pain: Jump, jump, jump
Todd (VO): Yes, "Jump Around", the deathless jock jam that ruled the airwaves in 1992, and still gets the party jumping almost 30 years later, by DJ Lethal, Danny Boy, and Erik "Everlast" Schrody, collectively known as the House of Pain.
Everlast: Won't ever slack up, punk you better back up
Todd (VO): This is one of the most requested songs I get. And, in fact, I was saving this request for last specifically, because...
Todd: ...this song's requester had been a patron for the shortest amount of time.
Todd (VO): But there was another reason why I saved it for last and why I have never, ever reviewed it before today.
Todd: And that is that I love it way too much.
Everlast: So get out your seat and jump around
Todd (VO): This song is a part of me, and it has been for longer than I can even remember. Reviewing it is like reviewing my own hands.
Todd: If you took a microscope to my DNA, it would read, [rapping fastly] "Pack it up, pack it in, let me begin. I came to win, battle me that's a sin. I won't ever slack up, punk you better back up. Try and play the role and yo the whole crew'll act up. Get up, stand up, c'mon throw your hands up. If you've got the feeling, jump across the ceiling. Muggs lifts a funk flow, someone's talking junk. Yo I bust him in the eye, and then I'll take the punk's hoe. Feelin', funkin', amps in the trunk and I got more rhymes than there's cops at a Dunkin' Donuts shop. Sho' nuff, I got props from the kids on the hill plus my mom and my pops". [exhales deeply]
Todd (VO): And as one-hit wonders, House of Pain has a strange legacy. No one expects jock jam acts like them to have long careers. They felt like a novelty and no one knows a single other song by them. [clip of live performance] And yet, they had legitimacy that other one-hit wonder rap acts just don't have. Partly because "Jump Around" is such an eternal jam and...
Todd: ...partly because a few years later, [clip of "What It's Like" by...] Everlast started a successful solo career as a bluesy folk singer, of all goddamn things. ["Jump Around"] But, mostly, they're remembered for keeping white rap alive during what turned out to be a very dark time for Caucasian hip-hop.
Montage clips of Jesse Jaymes - "Shake It (Like A White Girl)"...
Jesse Jaymes: She was wiggling, giggling, shaking, jiggling
...Icy Blu - "Pump It (Nice 'n' Hard)"...
Icy Blu: Rollin' into town, I'm down, for an evenin' of dancin'
...and J.T. - "Swing It"
J.T.: Swing it
Todd (VO): Yeah, every white rapper that came after House of Pain owes them a huge debt of gratitude just for not being this. Ugh.
Todd: So, let's bust that shit. [rapping] We came to get down, we came to get down. So get out your seat and jump around!
Clip of "Jump Around"
Everlast: I got lyrics, but you ain't got none
If you come to battle bring a shotgun
But if you
Before the hit
Todd: So, speaking of white rappers, [shot of article: "House of Pain Look Back at 20 Years of 'Jump Around'"] I was reading a recent interview with the House of Pain guys and [shot of Living Stereo magazine with the text "Vanilla Ice Is Back!"] Vanilla Ice came up, and Everlast was like, "Yeah, it sucked to have his career, 'cause...", quote, "There's a big part of me that could have easily been that dude. Had that first Warner Bros. record, with 'I Got the Knack' as the first single, blown up, I would've been that guy." (Everlast, SPIN Magazine, February 2012)" [raises his finger to say something but changes his mind] What's this now?
Video for Everlast - "I Got The Knack"
Everlast: You got it
Get up everybody and listen to this rhyme
My name is Everlast and yo, I'm always on time
Todd: Ohh...oh my.
Todd (VO): Nice suit, Mr. Schrody.
Everlast: Everlast lasts forever, that's why I'm number one
I got the knack
You were correct, Everlast. It is good that this did not take off.
Todd: Okay, so, backstory...
Video for Everlast - "Syndication"
Todd (VO): Everlast was originally part of a posse called Rhyme Syndicate.
Video for Rhyme Syndicate - "What Ya Wanna Do"
Ice-T: My name is MC Ice-T
Everlast is in the house, come on, what you wanna do?
That was Ice-T's group. It was this whole Young Money-type stable of future superstars.
Clip of "I Got The Knack"
Everlast: I'm also down with Divine, Bilal and Quincy D
Tairrie B., DJ Lethal and my brother cool Nick
Kid Jazz, Scratch, Bango and Cutmaster Quick
Todd (VO): No, I've never heard of any of these people either.
Todd: Look, 1990 was a...
Brief clips of MC Hammer - "U Can't Touch This" and Ice-T - "Colors"
Todd (VO): ...weird year for hip-hop. Even Ice-T, the original original gangsta, [shot of soundtrack cover for...] was doing inane pop rap like the Dick Tracy theme, ["I Got The Knack"] and helping doofus shit like this into the world. ["Syndication"] Everlast's earlier tracks are way better, but for his big solo debut, I guess he dumbed himself down to get that Vanilla Ice money, ["I Got The Knack"] not knowing this style would be lamer than lame by next year. And even for pop rap, this is real bad.
Todd: Get it? It's called "I Got The Knack" [album cover for Get The Knack by...] 'cause it samples "My Sharona" by The Knack? Ugh, yeah, it's just the worst. His rhymes are all preschool-basic, [clip of...] and "My Sharona" was already a sample from Run-DMC's "It's Tricky".
Rev Run: It's tricky, tricky, tricky, tricky
Todd: It's been done. I mean, come on, it's 1990. There'd have only been, like 5 samples so far. Look harder.
Clip of Rhyme Syndicate - "The Rhythm"
Everlast: I'm Everlast, born to be a Caucasian
But it makes no difference what persuasion
Todd (VO): Oh my god, it gets worse. Ooof.
Todd: Fortunately, for him, no one ever saw this, or he would've never been taken seriously again.
Clip of live performance of Rhyme Syndicate with DJ Lethal
Todd (VO): But being in Rhyme Syndicate wasn't terrible for Everlast. That was where he met a teenage beatboxer named DJ Lethal. And from there, he recruited a high school friend called [clip of interview with...] Danny Boy.
Todd: And they gave themselves an awesome name.
Audio of House of Pain - "House of Pain Anthem" plays over video for "Jump Around"
House of Pain: The House Of Pain is in effect, y'all
I say the House Of Pain is in effect
The big hit
Video for "Jump Around" starts again
Todd does a salute
Todd (VO): Okay, so now that we've made it here, we have to ask the question...
Todd: Is "Jump Around" the best song of the '90s? It's a theory we have to take seriously, because what else is there? [brief clips of Nirvana's...] "Smells Like Teen Spirit? It's fine. [2Pac ft. Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman's...] "California Love"? I mean, it's good. [...and Tevin Campbell's...] "Stand Out" from A Goofy Movie? Look, these are all classic songs! They're just not "Jump Around".
Everlast: Pack it up, pack it in, let me begin
I came to win, battle me that's a sin
Todd (VO): Like I said, I couldn't even begin to analyze why this song is so great.
Todd: It's just classic line after classic line, especially, of course, the immortal...
Everlast: I'll serve your ass like John McEnroe
Todd: [raises his arms] Oh-oooh!
Todd (VO): What else is there to say, really? I mean, you don't need me to explain the greatness of "Jump Around".
Todd: You're already familiar with it if you've gone to literally [clips of...] any St. Patrick's Day party or sporting event in the last 25 years. [clip of Jump Around playing at a sporting event in Madison, Wisconsin] I went to a Yankees game just this weekend, and they played it. And what's amazing is that it took off...right around the time that...
Clip of Vanilla Ice - "Play That Funky Music"
Todd (VO): ...white people rapping was pretty close to being discredited. [clips of "No Sleep Till Brooklyn" by...] The Beastie Boys were always considered more rock than hip-hop, [...and "Good Vibrations" by...] Vanilla Ice and Marky Mark were already jokes after just a year or two.
Todd: And from then on, trying to rap while being white just had this horrible stigma attached to it.
Video for Eminem - "My Name Is"
Todd (VO): Even after Eminem, white rap was treated as a novelty for years and years until...
Todd: ...roughly now. When they're so ubiquitous, it's not a thing anymore.
Video for "Jump Around"
Todd (VO): So, really, "Jump Around" was, like, the last good white rap song for a very long time. And it's very, very white.
Todd: And not in a bad way. Not in the "failing to be black" kind of way. It was their own thing. [clip of "Fight For Your Right" by...] Now, take the Beasties. They adopted this persona of, you know, [Brooklyn accent] "Bowery boy, New York wise guys". [normal] And it worked for them because...it was pretty close to who they really were. House of Pain did something similar by leaning on their...
Video for "Jump Around"
Todd (VO): ...Irish-American heritage. Yeah, you see the pub, the bagpipes, the Celtics jerseys. I honestly assumed they were from Boston for the longest time, they're-they're actually from LA. And it works 'cause...
Todd: Well, you know, Irishness has a weird place in American culture.
Video for Dropkick Murphys - "I'm Shipping Off To Boston"
Todd (VO): Like, it's understood to be, like, tough, even though it's been so watered down by this point that, like, [image of two guys in green] everyone is part-Irish.
Todd: I'm part-Irish. And, trust me, you would not know when to look at me. Plus, I'm a total wuss.
Footage of early Irish people in America
Todd (VO): But there was a time in history that the Irish were [image of sign that reads "Help Wanted: No Irish Need Apply] the filthy poor immigrants of the country. And they suffered through oppression in America and in their homeland that...gives Irishness a certain level of street cred. [clips from...] In fact, just a year earlier, there was this movie, The Commitments, about a bunch of Irish street kids trying to be soul singers.
Dean Fay (Felim Gormley): Well, like...maybe we're a little white for that kind o' thing.
Jimmy Rabbitte (Robert Arkins): D'yeh not get it, lads? The Irish are the blacks of Europe.
Todd: I don't know how true that is, but, you know, you get it, there's a level of respect.
Video for "Jump Around"
Todd (VO): And House of Pain found an image everyone can get behind: the mook, bar-dwelling tough guys. Like, [brief clip of "The Rhythm"] this guy, this guy's a poser. But ["Jump Around"] this guy's the real deal.
Todd: Yeah, I know this is an act too.
Video for Everlast - "Syndication"
Todd (VO): And it's especially obvious if you've seen his career progression.
Todd: It's just an act that worked.
Clip of "Jump Around"
Everlast: Get up, stand up (c'mon!)
C'mon throw your hands up
Todd (VO): You gotta give credit to that beat, too. Every St. Paddy's Day,...
Todd: ...that "skree" comes on...
Todd (VO): And that's the cue for a bunch of drunk people to start jumping up and down.
Todd: That bounce was made by [images of...] Cypress Hill's DJ Muggs.
Everlast: Muggs lets the funk flow
Todd (VO): And it is the greatest beat ever made.
Todd: There's no one who can't move to this. You know "white people can't dance"?
Todd (VO): Well, don't worry. You don't have to. You just have to [rapping to the song] jump, jump, jump.
Todd: A movie came out that year called White Men Can't Jump. Well, turns out they can. The drunker you are, the better.
Everlast: I'm the cream of the crop, I rise to the top
Todd (VO): And, fun fact: you can literally only listen to this song with a beer. Not whiskey, not tequila, certainly no fruity cocktails. Just beer.
Todd: In fact, [holds up...] a beer just appeared in my hand right now. Don't know where this came from. [shrugs and takes a sip]
Everlast: Or better yet a Terminator, like Arnold Schwarzanegger
Todd (VO): And this came out right during the glory years of a subgenre of rap music that...
Todd:...kinda crossed over with [images of...] the alternative kids and the metalheads. ["Fight the Power" by...] These are groups like Cypress Hill and Public Enemy, and (...and "So What Cha Want" by...) the Beasties, obviously, because it was so aggro and hard.
Todd (VO): In fact, "Jump Around" was the start of a lot of forceful...onomatopoeic rap songs in that time.
Todd: You know just a lot of...[slams fist]
Clips of Onyx - "Slam"...
Onyx: Slam, da duh duh
Todd continues slamming his fist as a segue for...
DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince - "Boom! Shake The Room"
Will Smith: Boom! Shake, shake, shake the room
...and Tag Team - "Whoomp! (There It Is)"
Tag Team: Whoomp, there it is!
Todd (VO): It wasn't even...
Todd: ...the only "Jump" song in 1992. That was also the year of ["Jump" by...] Kris Kross.
Kris Kross: Jump, jump
Todd (VO): And "Jump Around" even...
Todd: ...takes a hit at Kris Kross. I-I didn't even know this.
Clip of "Jump Around"
Everlast: This is dedicated to Joe "The Biter" Nicolo
Todd: Joe Nicolo was a [image of Joe in the studio] music executive they sent their "Jump Around" demo to, and he passed on it, and then, a short time later, he makes...
Todd (VO): ..."Jump" with Kris Kross. I guess House of Pain thought their song got stolen. But, fortunately, it turned out there was more than enough "jump" to go around that year. It was the best year for jumping...
Todd: ...since 1984.
Brief clips of Van Halen - "Jump"...
David Lee Roth: Jump!
...and Pointer Sisters - "Jump (For My Love)"
Pointer Sisters: Jump, if you wanna...
Todd (VO): And also, I think there was this, like...
Todd: ...brief period in 2000 where you could've heard [ clips of Destiny's Child's...] "Jumpin' Jumpin'" back to back with [...and Third Eye Blind's...] "Jumper".
Stephan Jenkins: I wish you would step back from the...
Todd (VO): That song's not as great for jumping, though.
Clip of "Jump Around"
Everlast: Try to play me out like, as if my name was Sega
I-I feel like I'm talking in circles. I just love this song way too much. It speaks to me like nothing else ever will. It's just stood the test of time.
Todd: But no group of Irishmen, no matter how rowdy, can jump forever. What next?
The failed follow-up
Video for House of Pain - "Shamrocks and Shenanigans"
Denis Leary: Three words, folks: House. Of. Pain. Okay? Three more words: St. Patrick's Day. Okay? Guy's got his own day, guy's got his own parade...
Todd: Oh, wow. Denis Leary, huh? We're really going there.
Denis: Real Irish guys wear Celtics jerseys with the big 33 in the front. I think you hear me knocking...
Todd: [sarcastically] Oh, are you Irish, Denis? I had no idea.
Denis: Don't talk to me about U2, those guys aren't Irish. Those guys wear berets, they're French.
Todd: That's funny, because I remember Bono having some [Clip of live performance of "Sunday Bloody Sunday" from Rattle and Hum] harsh words for Americans acting like they know anything about being Irish.
Bono: I've had enough of Irish-Americans who haven't been back to their country!
Todd (VO): Well, anyway, this is House of Pain's second song. This one is called, not joking...[single cover for...] "Shamrocks and Shenanigans".
Todd: [Irish accent] Ooh, shamrocks and shenanigans!
Everlast: On the draw like the horse named McGraw
From the cartoon boom sha lock lock boom sha lock lock boom
All right now
Todd: Yeah, it's clearly trying to be "Jump Around: Part 2".
House of Pain: Boom sha lock lock boom
Todd (VO): Yeah, you know, as hooks go, it's no "jump jump". But "boom sha lock lock boom"? You know, those are good loud noises.
Everlast: 'Cause I feel blessed, I'm casually dressed
I don't know, it seems like it's doing all the right things. Danny Boy gets something to do in this one.
Danny Boy: It ain't no thing, my cargo ring
Todd (VO): He has lamented that he didn't write any part of "Jump Around", so he gets none of those fat, fat royalty checks.
Todd: I don't know, [clip of "Shamrocks and Shenanigans"] it doesn't have that bounce. And without it, it feels like it's missing something. Or, I don't know, maybe I might be able to take this more seriously if it wasn't called "Shamrocks and Shenanigans". [Irish accent] Yellooo, spring clovers.
Todd (VO): They're starting to come off a little...cartoon-y. What with the shamrocks and Denis Leary and one of them literally being named Danny Boy.
Todd: But it's much worse on the first album, which, for the record, is hilarious.
Video for "Put on Your Shit Kickers"
Everlast: It's the four man crew, with the Irish stew
Todd: Being Irish is the only thing they rap about.
Video for "Top O' The Morning To Ya"
Everlast: See I'm Irish, but I'm not a leprechaun
You want to fight, then step up and we'll get it on
Todd (VO): This is from a song literally titled, "Top O' The Morning To Ya".
Todd: [Irish accent] Top o' the morning to ya.
Todd (VO): You may remember it from Daredevil, where it introduced Colin Farrell's Irish supervillain to the movie. Woof.
Todd: And there's so much more of it from there.
Clip of House of Pain performing "Jump Around" on MTV
Everlast: The Irish is in the house
Todd (VO): They have one topic: "I am Irish and badass".
Todd: In fact, it mostly reminded me of [video for...] "Rico Suave", who also only had one topic. [shows picture of Gerardo with the caption: "I am Latino and I sex good"] And the high point comes when House of Pain do, in fact, sing "Danny Boy".
Audio of "Danny Boy" playing over the cover of The Malt Lyrics
Everlast: Oh Danny Boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling
Video for "Just Another Victim"
Todd (VO): After that, they were on the Judgement Night soundtrack doing a rock song with Helmet. Kinda sucks. [Video for "Who's The Man?"] And they also got to do the theme song for Who's The Man?, which was a movie starring the host of Yo! MTV Raps.
Todd: And, yeah, after that, House of Pain just drifted from people's attention.
Did they ever do anything else?
Video for "On Point"
Everlast: When it's time to rock a funky joint
I'm on point
When it's time to rock a funky jam
I'm the man
Todd (VO): They released their second album in '94, and they decided to go even harder.
Everlast: I got skill kid
And I run the mill kid
At some point, Everlast's voice dropped into a really low register, and, over time, he sounded more and more like [image of...] Christian Bale's Batman.
Everlast: Calvin Klein's no friend of mine
So I don't like Marky
or the monarchy
Todd: Taking aim at Marky Mark. Yeah, [thumbs up] brave stance in '94.
Everlast: Don't stand so close to me
Todd (VO): Now, that second album does have its fans. Legendary critic Robert Christgau said it was "the hardest album of the year" So,...
Todd: ...take that, [covers of Ready to Die and Illmatic by...] Biggie and Nas. Chuck Eddy reviewed it in SPIN, and his take was more, "It's fine, but I don't think anyone's gonna care." And that turned out to be mostly correct.
Todd (VO): Showdy aggro rap went out of style as quick as pop rap did. And the lingering memory of [image of...] Vanilla Ice grew too large for any Caucasian rapper to overcome.
Video for "Fed Up"
Everlast: Get up I'll break ya down a little something
There was one more album in '96, which was even darker and tougher, and it's not great.
Todd: The thing that they had in the beginning that they lost over time was that "Jump Around" was fun.
Clip of live performance
Todd (VO): Those second and third albums aren't fun. [Clip of interview] And, eventually, all three guys admitted to each other that they weren't having fun in real life, either. So, they called it quits. [Video for Everlast - "What It's Like"] After that, Everlast started a solo career, and he took it in a more, you know, soulful and serious direction.
Everlast: We've all seen a man at the liquor store beggin' for your change
Todd (VO): And he had a monster hit in 1998 with "What It's Like",...
Todd: ...which is about, you know, judging pricks who don't understand people's struggles.
Everlast: Then you really might know what it's like
Todd (VO): I have heard this song some 5 billion times over the course of my life, and...
Todd: ...I have yet to form an opinion on it. [thumbs up] A true 5 out of 10.
Todd (VO): I mean, it was pretty daring to get a pro-choice song on the air, but it's also kinda preachy. I don't know, I can sing it from memory.
Todd: Everlast never had a hit on that level again, so, arguably, he's a double one-hit wonder...
Video for Santana ft. Everlast - "Put Your Lights On"
Todd (VO): ...if you don't count that Santana song he was on. ["White Trash Beautiful"] But he's kept putting out albums to this day, and I don't think there's anyone else out there doing hip-hop-inflected blues folk, so I'm glad for his following. [La Coka Nostra - "Mind Your Business"] And Danny Boy has had various side projects and businesses since then, and, [clip of DJ Lethal performing "Jump Around" with...] right after the breakup, DJ Lethal joined a little upstart band you might have heard of called...Limp Bizkit!
Fred Durst: Jump up, jump up, and get down
Oh, Limp Bizkit. Every time I think you weren't that bad, I remember shit like this.
Clip of Limp Bizkit performing with Everlast at MTV's New Year's Eve in 1999
Fred Durst: I wanna bring out my man, Everlast!
Todd (VO): House of Pain turned out to be really influential, for the record, especially on nu metal.
Todd: You know, "Jump Around"...
Todd (VO): ...was in Mrs. Doubtfire, of all things. And they say that, right after that movie, a ["Top O' The Morning To Ya"] bunch of really young people started showing up at their concerts. [MTV's New Year's Eve 1999] Did everyone of those kids start nu metal bands? I wouldn't discount it. What a proud legacy.
Todd: I mean, I still really love "Jump Around", but if you wanted to make a case against House of Pain, that would be a good place to start. [Clip of House of Pain performing at Woodstock] And, since then, House of Pain have done some small reunion shows but...Everlast has said that would be pretty much it.
Everlast: Jump around
Did they deserve better?
Todd: Man, sometimes, when you do it that perfectly the first time, there's no point in continuing.
Clip of "Jump Around"
Everlast: Jump up, jump up, and get down
Todd (VO): There's nowhere to go but down from "Jump Around". It was the cream of the crop, it rose to the top. It's no wonder they couldn't follow it up, and Everlast had to rebuild his career by doing something entirely different.
Todd: No, it's simply the best song ever made. May "Jump Around" live forever. [He bounces again]
Closing Tag Song: "Jump Around" - Vanilla Ice
"Jump Around" is owned by Tommy Boy Records
This video is owned by me
THANK YOU TO THE LOYAL PATRONS!
Todd peers his head into the camera
Todd: [rapping fastly] "I'm the cream of the crop, I rise to the top. I never eat a pig, 'cause a pig is a cop. Or better yet a Terminator, like Arnold Schwarzanegger. Try to play me out like, as if my name was Sega. But I ain't going out like no punk bitch. Get used to one style and yo and I might switch it up up and around, then buck buck you down. Put out your head and then you wake up in the Dawn of the Dead. I'm coming to get ya, I'm coming to get ya. Spitting out lyrics, homie I'll wet ya. I came to get down, I came to get down. So get out your seat and jump around!"