Eve on Why She Joined Ruff Ryders and Struggles of Being a Female Rapper
In the brink of releasing her first album in six years, Eve reveals she got the cold shoulder from female rappers at the start of her career. "I loved Missy and Kim but I never wanted to be them, " she said as a result.
As she launches a new album after a six-year-hiatus, Eve opened up about her past struggles as a female rapper, particularly in fitting in with her contemporaries.
Eve is making a comeback in the music scene after the disappointment of her fourth album, “Lip Lock.” The 2013 project didn’t reach expectations sending the rapper to hibernation.
“I kind of retreated,” the 40-year-old admitted in an exclusive with The Guardian. “I had to really pick myself back up,” she added.
As the wife of a British billionaire, she now enjoys the good life, a welcome distraction from the disappointment of her last album.”
But now that she’s over that past, Eve is ready to make a difference with a new brand of music that she describes as “the music I listen to when I’m getting ready to go out, when I’m getting dressed or when I’m driving.”
“It lifts my mood,” she says and hopes people will “feel good” about her new album which infuses rap, reggae, and pop balladry. She dropped her first single, “Reload” earlier this month rocking platinum blonde hair in her promotional photo. The track also features dancehall artist, Konshens.
“Before I’d met anybody, I always thought of it as this sisterhood. I thought we were all gonna be friends. It was not like that."
SHE THOUGHT THEY'D ALL BE FRIENDS
With her music back on track, Eve reminisced about the time she started in the industry and how naïve she was back then. She recalled thinking she’d be part of the squad of female rappers and they’d all be friends. But that wasn’t the case.
“Before I’d met anybody, I always thought of it as this sisterhood. I thought we were all gonna be friends. It was not like that,” she divulged during her Guardian interview. “I’d see [Lil] Kim and say hi, and she’d be like: ‘Get the f*** away from me.’ Not verbally, you could just tell what she was thinking. But I was in a bubble and it never felt like a competition. I loved Missy [Elliott] and Kim but I never wanted to be them.”
It was after she signed under Ruff Ryders, the label that launched her to stardom through her first album, "Let There Be Eve," that she finally found where she belonged.
SHE STRUGGLED AS A FEMALE RAPPER
Eve also revealed it was a struggle to be a female rapper at the time because "labels were basically trying to make you get naked." Eve first signed with Dr. Dre's label only to be dropped after eight months without explanation. It was after she signed under Ruff Ryders, the label that launched her to stardom through her first album, "Let There Be Eve," that she finally found where she belonged.
"With Ruff Ryders, it was always: ‘We like who you are, we’re not going to try and change you,'" she said.
SHE EMPOWERS WITH HER NEW MUSIC
Strengthened by years of experience, Eve is now confident enough not to care what others think though she can’t help but feel apprehensive about her latest album. It is partly because of the lackluster response to her last and the acknowledgment that times have changed since then.
Regardless of her deepest fears, Eve’s new music is empowering. In fact, she says it encourages people to get past the pitfalls of life and just forge on.
“Whether it’s me talking to my past self, or to future girls, it’s saying: ‘You don’t need to deal with the bulls***. Keep it moving!’ You have that a-ha moment where you go: ‘You know what? F*** this s***!’”
SHE NOW THRIVES IN THE GOOD LIFE
Eve’s life nowadays is a total turnaround from her humble past when she worked as a stripper to make ends meet while securing a gig as a rapper. The former choirgirl from Philadelphia is now married to Gumball 3000 founder Maximillion Cooper. It was an instant attraction according to the rapper who met Maximillion at a 2010 Gumball 3000 rally. As the wife of a British billionaire, she now enjoys the good life, a welcome distraction from the disappointment of her last album. In fact, her music took a backseat after they married in 2014.
Today, apart from an upcoming album, Eve is also a co-host on the CBS Daytime show, “The Talk.”