Everlast has signed with Island Def Jam and is expected to release his label debut in early 2004. The artist, whose real name is Erik Schrody, first gained prominence as leader of House of Pain.

Everlast has signed with Island Def Jam and is expected to release his label debut in early 2004. The artist, whose real name is Erik Schrody, first gained prominence as leader of House of Pain. The hip-hop group's self-titled 1992 album sold 1.9 million copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Everlast then had tremendous success with his solo debut, "Whitey Ford Sings the Blues." The 1998 Tommy Boy Records release has sold 2.9 million copies in the U.S., and included the hit "What It's Like." His 2000 follow-up, "Eat at Whitey's," sold 345,000 copies.

Since then, the artist has laid low, most recently making guest appearances on Cypress Hill member DJ Muggs' Anti album "Dust" and Lordz Of Brooklyn's "Graffiti Roc" (High Times).

"Everlast is an incredible artist that writes really important songs," Island Def Jam chairman/CEO Lyor Cohen tells Billboard. "The songs are beautiful, and we will sell gazillions of records. Any label that listens to music would be so proud to have Everlast as part of their family of artists."

The label would not comment on specifics of the deal, other than to call it "long term."