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House of Pain Rapper Danny Boy Shares Addiction & Recovery Story On New Podcast

By Dorri Olds 07/04/16

On a recent episode of the Dopey podcast, House of Pain's Danny Boy opened up about his meth addiction and bumpy road to sobriety. 

House of Pain Rapper Danny Boy Shares Addiction & Recovery Story On New Podcast
Pictured left to right: Dave, Danny Boy, & Chris via Dopey

Danny Boy, the 47-year-old founding member of the hardcore Irish-American rap group, House of Pain, best known for their 1992 smash hit, "Jump Around" shared his journey from addiction to sobriety on a recent episode of the Dopey podcast.

The Dopey podcast was created by Dave and Chris who met in rehab five years ago after which they got sober, became fast friends and decided to create their own show. Chris described the podcast for The Fix. “There are dozens of drug and alcohol shows out there,” he said. “But most of them are recovery-centric. We wanted to create a show that was a darkly comedic take on drug abuse, without coming off as preachy.” 

In this episode, Danny talks about the ups and downs of addiction and sobriety. “I was in the club, swinging off the chandelier, drinking and fighting,” he told Dave and Chris. That was before he ended up in a rehab for cocaine. “I’d always drank and I grew up in a family of alcoholics,” he said. “My father went to prison when I was two months old so I met him twice….and when I was 17 he was murdered.”

After getting out of jail, Danny's father was homeless. “Someone lit him on fire, that’s how…sad he was. And my stepfather was in and out of jail,…an ex-heroin addict and a fluid alcoholic.” He said his stepfather was “a scary guy” who died of cirrhosis at age 35.

“I knew what alcoholism looked like,” said Danny, “….people fighting, a mother who doesn’t want kids….House of Pain cured all that shit for me. All the accolades, the money….it was the big warm hug that I always needed.”

Danny thought rehab would solve his problems but the band broke up.  According to Chris, "After House of Pain ended, Danny Boy observed the massive success of ex-partners Everlast and DJ Lethal. But Danny was tweaking [meth] with his girlfriend while Everlast was up for a Grammy and Lethal toured the world with Limp Biscuit.”

Danny went on to say, “After four years of a downward spiral I ran into a guy who suggested I go to a meeting with him.” Danny went and found it “church-ey cult-ey” but the laughter was enough to keep him going. “First it was great,” he said. “I did my 12 [months]…I’m sponsoring dudes and giving people rides and fellowshipping” and he landed a record deal with the group XSUPERMODELS.

“Year two was kinda really good, too. Now I’ve got extracurricular shit like new cars, new watch, new girl.” 

But at year three, the record deal fell through and Danny had spent all of his money. He began to think, “I didn’t get sober to feel like this. So, at three years….I thought to myself…. I only did meth for four years and been sober for three and change so I thought I’ll give myself an early release from jail….and I’ll just have a drink.”

Within one week of drinking he went back to meth and left the program. He figured if things went bad again, he could always go back but he tried and failed for over three years. “By the time I came back I had no teeth and was living on a couch in a warehouse….My life [now] is far from perfect but….when I walked in the doors, I was dead—spiritually dead, emotionally bankrupt, monetarily bankrupt….Finally, this thing took. I don’t know why it was different. I tried to come back probably 20 different times and I just couldn’t…get it.”

Thankfully, on April 15, Danny celebrated 11 years back.

The Fix asked Chris what to expect from future Dopey podcasts. “More debauchery, more laughs and more recovery,” he said. Sounds good to us.

You can listen to the Dopey podcast here. You can also check them out on Instagram and Facebook

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Dorri Olds is an award-winning writer whose work has appeared in many publications including The New York Times, Marie Claire, Woman’s Day and several book anthologies. Find Dorri on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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