House of Pain Singer In Stable Condition

Everlast, frontman for the Irish rap act House of Pain, suffered cardiac failure Wednesday and is currently in stable condition at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after undergoing bypass surgery to correct a congenital problem with one of his heart valves.

The 28-year-old singer, a.k.a. Erik Schrody, who had been working on a sophomore solo album in his L.A. studio, felt chest pains Wednesday and was taken by ambulance to Cedars-Sinai, where he experienced heart failure, said Beth Jacobson, spokeswoman at Tommy Boy records, the label for which both House of Pain and Everlast record. "The cardiac failure resulted from a congenital heart problem diagnosed some years ago," Jacobson said. "It probably should have been operated on then, but you know how it is with surgery."

Everlast and his Los Angeles-based House of Pain bandmates first leaped into prominence with their rollicking 1992 hit "Jump Around" off of their self-titled, platinum-selling debut, which featured the trio's party-time rhymes and bumping beats and the production work of Cypress Hill's DJ Muggs.

Everlast, who was said to be walking around the hospital already, has shown improvement since his surgery, Jacobson added. He has moved out of intensive care and into a room but is expected to remain in the hospital for at least 10 more days, she said. While it is still unclear how exactly Everlast was treated following his heart failure, one cardiologist, Dr. Rex Outtrim, said that the bicuspid aortic valve, which allows blood to flow from the heart to the arteries, usually is the cause of this type of heart failure in young adults.

"Replacement of the bicuspid aortic valve is the most common type of valve replacement in young adults," said Outtrim of the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, speculating on what may have gone wrong. "Cardiac failure due to the valve becoming obstructed can cause chest pain, shortness of breath and lead to congestive heart failure."

Prior to the illness, Everlast was at work on his second solo album in his home studio, with Dante Ross (Brand Nubian, Leaders of the New School) handling production duties and Everlast singing and playing electric, acoustic and bass guitars over hip-hop beats, said Jacobson, who added that the resulting amalgamation was sounding like a blend of alternative rock and blues.

Everlast also contributed the track "The Men In Blue" to the upcoming Prince Paul concept album, Prince of Thieves, which Jacobson said is expected out in early June. -- Colin Devenish [Mon., Feb. 23, 1998, 6:30 p.m. PST]