Everlast Battles Will Smith, Takes Out White Trash

Rapper blows off steam with paintball team while readying new LP.

While he waits for his new album to drop, you might find Everlast wrapping his fingers around the butt of a gun. And if Will Smith crosses his path again, he’ll probably splatter him with paint.

Everlast’s got nothing personal against Will. But when you live for the game, you gotta kill for the game, and paintball isn’t a sport for the weak. Last year, Everlast’s squad — the Stoned Assassins — battled Smith’s paintball team and emerged victorious.

“[Will Smith’s team] had 25 guys and we had 15, but we beat ’em,” Everlast said. “We had better guns and were better trained. It was, like, one of Will’s first times playing paintball. But I heard after that, he and his boys went out and re-geared up, and he’s really into it now full-blast. I’d love to play those guys again.”

Between March 19 and 21, the Stoned Assassins — whose ranks also include B-Real from Cypress Hill — will compete in a national paintball tournament in Huntington Beach, California. It will be the team’s fifth major competition, and between now and then they’ll practice and compete against other teams two days a week.

“I love it,” Everlast said. “You’ve never seen so many 30-year-old men look like 9-year-olds. You physically exhaust yourself, and it’s a really healthy way to deal with aggression.”

Since he started playing 18 months ago, Everlast discovered that blasting off dozens of rounds of fluorescent paint is an ideal form of stress management, which is exactly what he needs in the weeks before his new record, White Trash Beautiful, arrives on April 27.

Fans of Everlast’s rootsy rap-rock hit “What It’s Like” will find the album’s title track to be pleasantly familiar. Released to radio last week, “White Trash Beautiful” is rooted by a slow, programmed beat and features pensive acoustic guitar plucks, weary strums, subtle keyboard atmospheres and half-sung, half-rapped vocals about isolation and heartache.

“Living in Hollywood, you see a lot of loneliness,” he said. “I just trip because I go out to the clubs and everybody’s trying to show their ass, but it’s really a lonely vibe. I feel more at peace being by myself than in those kinds of crowds. And combine that with being on the road all the time and being in a situation where you’ve gotta be suspicious of any new people in your life. It just creates real loneliness.”

White Trash Beautiful’s opener, “Blinded by the Sun,” is about domestic abuse, and it draws from Everlast’s memories of childhood beatings at the hand of his father. “This Kinda Lonely” is a country-tinged song about casual sex: “The sex is empty/ And this kinda lonely makes it easy to tempt me.”

“I have found that when you’re not with the person you want to be with, and you’re with this other person, it’s lonelier than anything you’ve ever done before,” Everlast said. “Once you hit a certain age, you’re kind of like, ’Whoa, this isn’t as much fun as it used to be. This life really isn’t doing it for me anymore.’ That kind of lonely ain’t good.”

On February 25, Everlast will play his first show in three years at an XBox party at the Playboy Mansion. The stripped-down showcase will be part acoustic and will focus on material from White Trash Beautiful.