Jump Around

Album: House Of Pain (1992)
Charted: 8 3


  • This party jam is one of the most enduring tracks of the '90s, proving remarkably effective at getting a crowd on its feet. It brings the bounce with a steady, throbbing rhythm along with explicit instructions on when to jump.
  • That squeal that kicks up the energy of this song is either a saxophone sample from "Shoot Your Shot" by Jr. Walker and the All Stars, or Prince's scream from his 1991 track "Gett Off." After Newsweek investigated in 2016, Everlast took to Twitter to write: "there is absolutely no prince sample in jump around. Way off. It's a horn FYI."

    But as Anil Dash points out, admitting to a Prince sample would have dire financial consequences, as Arrested Development found out when they sampled him on "Tennessee." Another Prince scholar, Questlove, insists it's from "Gett Off."
  • Jumping was a big thing in 1992 hip-hop. In April that year, the teenage duo Kris Kross went to #1 in America with their song "Jump," where they promise to make you jump. A group called The Movement reached #53 in August with the club-banger "Jump!", where they implore, "Jump everybody, jump everybody, jump" over and over. There was also "White Men Can't Jump" by Riff, which reached #90 in May, but that doesn't really apply here.

    "Jump Around" came after all of these, reaching its chart peak of #3 in October.

    The next jumper to hit was "Punks Jump Up To Get Beat Down" by Brand Nubian, which topped out at #77 in January 1993.
  • House Of Pain was the Los Angeles trio of Erik "Everlast" Schrody, "Danny Boy" O'Connor and Leor "DJ Lethal" Dimant. Everlast had a pedigree, having rapped in Ice-T's Rhyme Syndicate in the late '80s. He released a solo album called Forever Everlasting on Warner Bros. in 1989.

    The group signed with the pioneering hip-hop label Tommy Boy, home to Stetsasonic, Afrika Bambaataa, Queen Latifah and De La Soul. They assigned House Of Pain an Irish motif, which the group played up with a shamrock logo and lots of songs about drinking and fighting (the group name comes from place where horrific experiments take place in the 1977 film The Island of Dr. Moreau). "Jump Around" was their first single. It earned relentless airplay on MTV and pop radio, and became a huge crowd pleaser in bars and dance clubs (great for getting people on the dance floor, as no real dancing is involved - just jumping around). The single went Platinum, selling over a million copies in America, as did the album. The follow-up single, "Shamrocks And Shenanigans (Boom Shalock Lock Boom)," stalled at #65. "Who's The Man?" stalled at #96 in 1993, and in 1994 they had their last chart entry with "On Point" at #85. They split after releasing an album in 1996 that went nowhere, but Tommy Boy kept Everlast as a solo artist, and in 1998 released his first album, Whitey Ford Sings The Blues, with the surprisingly mellow and introspective hit "What It's Like." DJ Lethal became a member of the band Limp Bizkit. House Of Pain reunited from time to time in the '00s and '10s.
  • Everlast wrote this song with DJ Muggs (Lawrence Muggerud) of Cypress Hill, who also produced the track. Most of it is made up of samples, but it sounds like some live instruments, including guitars, were added in the studio. House Of Pain was comprised of two rappers and a DJ, so there are no credits for instruments on the album. When they performed the song live, DJ Lethal would man the turntables while Everlast and Danny Boy did the vocals.
  • Everlast's lyrics on this track are very aggressive, with lines like "I bust him in the eye, and then I'll take the punk's ho." He was surprised when the song crossed over to a pop audience, as he thought it was "too hardcore" to do so. But his pugnacious lyrics are tempered with comic relief in lines like "I got more rhymes than there's cops at a Dunkin' Donuts shop," which makes it a lot less threatening.
  • The horn flourish that opens this song comes from Bob and Earl's "Harlem Shuffle." It borrows elements from a number of other tracks as well, including "Tramp" by Lowell Fulsome and "You're No Good" by Harvey Arverne.
  • To the best of our knowledge, this is the first song to mention John McEnroe, whose name conveniently rhymes with "smackin' the ho." It's not the last: Loon ("Relax Your Mind"), Juvenile "Keep Talkin" and Black Eyed Peas "Bridging The Gaps" all later namechecked the tennis star.

    This is not McEnroe's only musical tether: In 1997 he married Patty Smyth, lead singer of the band Scandal.
  • It's hard to go to a sporting event and not hear this song. During home football games at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, students "Jump Around" to the song between the third and fourth quarters. Their jumping registers on the Geology Department's seismograph two miles away.
  • This song is frequently used in commercials, appearing in spots for Walmart and BridgeStone, and also in a 2014 Super Bowl ad for Coca-Cola where a young football player runs all the way to Lambeau Field.
  • This was featured in the 1993 film Mrs. Doubtfire in a scene where Robin Williams' character lets a kids' birthday party get out of control. It was later used in these films:

    Bridget Jones's Baby (2016)
    The Internship (2013)
    Turbo (2013)
    Jack Reacher (2012)
    Heartbeats (2010)
    The Rookie (2002)
    Black Hawk Down (2001)
    Happy Gilmore (1996)
    Kiss of Death (1995)
  • This was used on six episodes of the TV series My Name is Earl, including one where a stripper named Catalina dances to it by jumping up and down. Other TV uses include:

    Parks and Recreation ("Andy and April's Fancy Party" - 2011)
    Chuck (Chuck Versus the Broken Heart" - 2009)
    Veronica Mars ("Rashard and Wallace Go to White Castle" - 2006)
  • Amy Winehouse borrowed the bass line from "Jump Around" for her 2007 single "You Know I'm No Good."

Comments: 10

  • Walt from WisconsinEvery Friday at 5:00 our local radio station, WIXX, kicks off the weekend by playing Jump Around. What better way to start the weekend? My daughters and I dance around, raise the roof, and so on. My ex wife is use to just sit there frowning. No wonder it didn't work.
  • Eric from Somerset NjAccording to group member Everlast, the iconic scream in "Jump Around" was sampled from Jr Walker and the All-Stars "Shoot Your Shot" and not Prince. In a May 2016 article in Newsweek, in response to a tweet by Questlove, he wrote "btw there is absolutely no prince sample in jump around. Way off. It's a horn FYI." Reverse-audio engineering also appears to confirm the same. Either way, it's a dope classic hip-hop that is timeless.
  • D. from Dallas, Tx@roy...that's the sample of Prince's scream at the start of Gett Off.
  • Melissa from The Acerage, Flthis song is the best. i love old music. this is from when rap was actually good. now its all just real deragatory towards the non taget audience but hip-hop is still good. aside from the fact that its all about sex and every other word has to be bleeped out on the radio
  • Roy from Granbania, MaWhat is that high-pitched screech that's played throughout the song in the background? It makes me laugh every time I hear it, and I imitate it whenever I hear someone beatboxing, but I never knew what made that sound?
  • Joshua from La Crosse, WiThis song is a regular fixture at University of Wisconsin home football games. It is played over the Camp Randall PA system in between the third and fourth quarters, during which the fans and marching band get up and start jumping up and down like maniacs.
  • Not Tellin' from Jersey City, NjThis song is used in Angels Stadium when the Rally Monkey appears when the Angels are trailing in the late innings. The monkey is seen on the video screen, holding up a sign that says "RALLY TIME!"
  • Kyle from Anna, OhFunny story about this song...In 1984 Van Halen released their hit album 1984. The first single off of that album was the song Jump. The B-side to that single was a now relatively unknown song, House of Pain. Eight years later, a band named House of Pain made a hit single called Jump Around. Kind of interesting.
  • Bertrand from Paris, FranceFor a brief period of time it looked like a blend of edgy rock and hip hop was workable. "Jump Around" is incredibly infectious or annoying depending on your tolerance for the incessant siren that accompanies the pounding beats. Unfortunately, House Of Pain never did recapture these moments of greatness.
  • Mark from London, EnglandEverlast has had an on-off spat with Eminem over the years.
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