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After becoming one of the best female hip hop artists, Eve has followed up her career into acting and modeling. She currently stars as "Shelly Williams" on UPN's comedy series "Eve." Eve released three total music albums, "Let There Be Ever", "Scorpion" and "Eve-olution." Eve has claimed a grammy awards for her "Blow Ya Mind" music single. Eve's first movie role was in the feature "XXX," with Vin Diesel. She then starred in the hit feature film "Barbershop," alongside Ice Cube and Jason George. Because of the success of the first Barbershop, Eve went on to star in the sequel, "Barbershop 2." She will next be seen in the film "The Woodsman," alongside Kevin Bacon and Benjamin Bratt. In television, Eve had a guest-starring role in the drama "Third Watch." Being the fashion icon she is, Eve also has a successful fashion line called Fetish.
Born Eve Jihan Jeffers on 10 november 1979, the future first lady of the ruff ryders spent her childhood as a Philadelphia tomboy—a fact that would prepare her for her eventual role as the only female member of one of rap music's hottest outfits. Teenage parents, eve's mother and father separated when she was only twelve, leaving her to be raised by her mother and grandmother; though Eve had contact with her father after the separation, the two have not communicated since she turned eighteen. Two years after their separation, eve's mother remarried and gave birth to Eve's brother, Farrod.
Throughout her childhood, Eve was a performer, earning recognition at school for writing short stories, plays and poems. She began rapping under the moniker gangsta—as part of the dancing/singing/rapping trio edgp—as a teenager. When the fickle group of teens split up after only a few performances, Eve began the pursuit of a solo career, adopting the name Eve of destruction. On her own, eve pursued her dreams with practicality and determination; through performances at local clubs, parties and talent competitions she earned recognition. Eve had vowed that she would give up her pursuit of music if her dreams were not realized by the early age of twenty-one and a troubled youth threatened to keep her from ever reaching that goal. "I was a goddamn delinquent," a reflective eve explains, "I didn't even think I was going to graduate from high school." Rather than allow poor grades, drug trafficking and the occasional relationship with a certified "gang-sta" halt her career, Eve channeled her experiences into her work and only grew stronger.
Eve's bad girl behavior, however, did not come to an end with her graduation from high school. Her mother having recently remarried, Eve was bitter and disappointed, and feeling the need to get away. Accompanied by her friends, Eve would make a nightly trek from her Philadelphia neighborhood to the golden lady strip club in new york's Bronx borough. Eve managed to keep her month-long career a secret from her mother, sometimes earning as much as four hundred dollars a night. Eventually, Eve—who used the pseudonyms mystique, cinnamon and ginger when dancing— became disillusioned with the seediness of stripping and gave it up. She explains, "it was so depressing. I knew I didn't have to be there. I had a house that I could always go to. I had my mother.I didn't have no kids." In fact, Eve's disgust for her short-lived occupation got so bad that she often found it necessary to consume as many as six long island iced teas prior to going on stage. Fortunately for Eve, a conversation with retired rap superstar mase gave her the encouragement she needed to give up stripping and establish a career based upon her less prurient talents. "He talked to me for like two hours," she explains, "he said, 'you are too smart to be doing this. You wanna rap, you want a career, you need to get away from this'". Eve took that advice to heart, allowing her career as a dancer to serve as nothing more than inspiration for her lyrics, today.
Eve was also able to capitalize upon her delinquent adolescence by infiltrating the offices of Michael Lynn—president of Dr. Dre's aftermath entertainment—by posing as a narcotics runner. "I went there and he thought i was the weed girl," Eve recalls, "out of nowhere they put the tape on and I stood up and started rapping and he was looking at me like, 'why is this girl rapping?'". Eve's freestyle rhyme impressed Lynn enough for him to fly her to Los Angeles to cut a demo to present to Dr. Dre, himself. while one of the cuts from that demo, "eve of destruction", was sufficient to land eve a recording contract with aftermath—not to mention a spot on the bulworth soundtrack—their professional relationship would end eight months later without a completed project and shrouded in mystery. Though neither party speaks badly of the other, it is rumored that the company simply spread itself too thinly, leaving them unable to fulfill its commitments to eve.
As it turned out, however, Eve's severed relation with aftermath records did not mark the artist's own "eve of destruction", but rather a new opportunity in the form of a professional liaison with rapper dmx. Having long admired dmx's work, eve jumped at the opportunity to work with Ruff Ryders producer dame grease, after meeting dmx at a los angeles record signing. Once again, her freestyle skills earned her a recording contract as she held her own against drag-on and infra red in a cipher. "I thought I couldn't hold my own with these guys. I felt like I was nowhere near their level," Eve explains but, in spite of any reservations she or her would-be co-workers may have had about her abilities, Ruff Ryders ceos dee and waah dean were sufficiently impressed to welcome her aboard.
Soon after signing on with the Ruff Ryders, Eve appeared not only on the label's own ryde or die vol. 1, but also on the hit singles "baby, you got me" and "girlfriend/boyfriend", by the roots and blackstreet, respectively. She was then invited to appear with R. Kelly in concert and on former swv member, coko's, debut release, hot coko. Eve received further national exposure as part of sprite soft drink's kung-fu themed promotional campaign—alongside fellow rap divas Roxanne Shanté, Amil, Mia x, Angie Martinez and Millie Jackson—which aired heavily throughout the source and Soul Train lady of soul awards ceremonies. Having already established such a name for herself, it's no wonder that her debut single, "want ya want", received heavy rotation on popular video networks, displaying eve's mambo (as well as her rapping) talents.
By the time of the release of her first solo album, Ruff Ryders' first lady, Eve had already been identified as one of the most important rap artists of 1999. Guest appearances by drag-on, beanie siegal, missy "misdameanor" elliott, dmx and the lox drove this point home. In spite of the numerous contributions by other artists, it is Eve's distinct style and boundless talent that shine through on ruff ryders' first lady. "Gotta man" and "love is blind" followed "what y'all want" and, while the former earned more airplay with it's playful summer beats, it was the later's hard-hitting look at domestic violence that exposed Eve's public to her more serious side.
After a two-year hiatus, Eve followed the success of her debut with Scorpion. Her sophomore effort—which answered the musical question "who's that girl", for anybody who still may have been uncertain—earned her a Grammy nomination for "best rap album" and an award for the newly-introduced "best rap-sung collaboration (for her pairing with no doubt's Gwen Stefani on "let me blow ya mind"), as well as a bet award for "best female rapper". while the multi-platinum sales of Ruff Ryders' first lady may have identified her a force to be reckoned with, within the world of hip-hop, it was her duet with Stefani that singled her out as a cross-over sensation.
The release of Eve's third album, Eve-olution, coincided with her big screen debut in the action film xxx, opposite Vin Diesel, and a more prominent role in the urban comedy, Barbershop, in which she played sassy stylist terri. Eve-olution features the same funky beats and hard-hitting lyrics as Eve's previous albums and teamed the rapstress with then-newcomer r&b vocalists truth hurts and alicia keys. Having earned rave reviews for her performances on the big screen, Eve set her sights on conquering the small screen with a bit part on the Brooklyn-based paramedic drama Third Watch and a development deal with upn for her own sitcom in which she would portray a New York fashion designer. Created by Meg Deloatch, the show debuted to positive reviews and proved, once again, that art does imitate life, as eve expanded her own ever-growing brand with the creation of a clothing line called fetish.
A stylish artist who writes her own material spanning genres from hip-hop to latin, Eve is nobody's woman but her own. Her persona is a comfortable—and long overdue—blend of the roughneck Flava of mc lyte, Queen Latifah and Da Brat, and the streetwise sensuality of salt-n-pepa, solé and amil. Appealing to straight, male fans of rap music, while speaking to the sensibilities of a female and gay male public, Eve distinguishes herself as an artist without boundaries. Though she was barely out of her teens when she began, her presence reveals that she is as comfortable on the stage as she is in her own skin. By redefining what it means to be a woman in hip-hop, Eve has also defined herself as a diva.
Eve: "Barbershop 2: Back in Business"
Eve, one of rap music's beautiful discoveries of recent years, laughs when asked about how she is able to maintain a semblance of normality with her current boyfriend. "Honestly it's all good scheduling and thankfully I do have - especially with my TV show - hiatus weeks, but in those weeks or on some weekends, I'm able to go away or hook up." Yes, Eve, at 24, raps and records, stars in a new TV show, All About Eve, has time for a movie career, has started a fashion label and yes, even finds time to spend with a new boyfriend, literally scheduling a private life. "We do actually live like that, unfortunately, because he has his own thing going on, with his own businesses, so we kinda look at the calendar and figure out which week is good. But it works for us." Clearly, scheduling is Eve's bitter enemy. Even for this round of interviews promoting her sequel to the box office hit Barbershop, Back in Business, Eve was almost an hour late, unapologetic perhaps, but willing to give a little of her time. While she was more gregarious the first time on the movie PR trail, this time around, the Eve this time around is more introspective, unwilling to give too much away.
Barbershop 2: Back in Business, reunites the entire gang from the first film, this time focusing on urban redevelopment, as Calvin's Barbershop is under threat from a local chain of bland, glossy hair salons. Eve's feisty Terri manages to find love time around, and says she has no problem being the only girl in this company of guys. "I'm fine being around a bunch of guys," she says smilingly.
Raised by her mother and grandmother in Philadelphia, Eve [born Eve Jihan Jeffers] has always said that she was born with the gift to entertain. She was a member of rap group EDGP (pronounced Egypt) and was tagged the name "Gansta." After that Philadelphia-based group split, Eve began working on a solo career under the name "Eve of Destruction." She spent the better part of her days perfecting her craft, much to the detriment of her education. She stopped attending class and barely graduated high school. After her mother remarried, Eve felt the need to escape and began working as a stripper dancer in a New York strip club, a past she has had no problems ever discussing. "I stripped for like a month and a half, because it was rebellious for me to do it. I'm from the projects--that's where I was born. Then my mother got married when I was 14 years old, and we moved to a middle-class area. I started stripping when I was 17, as a way for me to find my independence, to make some quick money so that I could move out of my mother's house." It was as a stripper that Eve met, rapper Ma$e. Ma$e encouraged her stop disrobing and start rapping on a professional level.
Eve's big break came when she used her street smarts to trick producer Dr Dre into an audition. Dr Dre immediately liked what he heard and signed her to a one-year contract with Aftermath. Unfortunately, Eve's contract expired before she was able to release an album. She then returned back to Philadelphia and met artists from the Ruff Ryder label. After an impressive audition, Eve became the first female artist to sign with Ruff Ryder Records. In 1999, she released her first album "Eve: Ruff Ryders First Lady," which hit number one on Billboards Top 200 the moment it was released. Her second release, "Scorpion," provided the raw emotion that Eve experienced in her past and exactly one year later, she released her third album "Eve-olution," which was widely received as her best work to date.
After solidifying her place in the music circuit, Eve took her skills out of the studio and onto the big screen. In 2002 she made her feature debut in the action drama "xXx", before landing the role of Terri in the smash summer comedy "Barbershop".
With the sequel, following by a smaller dramatic part in the eerie Kevin Bacon drama The Woodsman, one would imagine that the singer/actress is ready to forsake music for on-screen Thespianism. "Music is still number one but I love acting, which is just different. I love them both, so not one is exceeding the other," she insists. And Eve proves that rappers can make good actors, maybe because they have that fire. "Do you know what? I think there are some people who do it because they can but they really want to do it and really love it, and I'm one of those people. I really love acting, because it's a different artistic outlet from my music. It's fun to be able to become someone else, really believe that I'm saying words that you normally wouldn't say, being in situations that you normally wouldn't be in as a person and just putting on a character."
These days, Eve also adds fashion guru to her list of accomplishments, having recently unveiled her Fetish By Eve fashion label, which she says is going really well. "It began about 2 or 3 years ago when I was approached by investors who thought I should have a clothing line, before I thought I should have a clothes line," Eve recalls. "I was like "Whoa" so we started talking about it and then it started becoming something like 'Everybody else has started, so why not have something with my name on it, or something with my input' and it took a long time to get here."
As for her acting, although she knows she has a long way to go as an actress, Eve has some good role models. "[Barbershop 2 co-stars] Queen Latifah and Ice Cube are definite inspirations for me,'' says Eve. ``I've talked to Cube a couple of times, and he's actually told me some really good things about the business and just motivating things, and Latifah's the same way. She's very supportive and just a cool person, and whenever I have a question, she'll answer me, and if she has some advice, she definitely tells me. I take heed.'' And that heed is paying off for the rapper/actress and former stripper.
More fun facts about Eve
Birth location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Birth name: Eve Jihan Jeffers
Nickname: Eve of Destruction
Height 5' 7" (1.70 m)
Worked as a table dancer/stripper before she started rapping.
In 1999, she was robbed during a night video shoot in Long Island. The robbers took a necklace and two bracelets valued at $137,000.
Was once signed to Dr. Dre's Aftermath label.
Only female signed to the Ruff Ryders label
Nicknamed "Pit bull in a skirt"
Her parents separated when she was 12 and she was raised by her mother and grandmother.
Her mother remarried when Eve was 14 and her younger brother Farrod was born.
Second album Scorpion was named after her astrological sign, Scorpio (the Scorpion.)
Was a contestant on "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire". She won $32,000 for her charity.
Friend and collaborator of singer Gwen Stefani.
Currently stars in her self-titled television show ("Eve") that airs on the network UPN. The show is a sitcom that is in its second season.
She has launched her own clothing and accessories line, called Fetish By Eve. The line was originally launched in the Fall of 2004, but will be relaunched again in the Summer of 2005 because she switched companies. The trademark of the clothing line is a devil's tail.
She has now signed back on to Dr. Dre's label, Aftermath.
At the Barbershop with Eve
Actor Anthony Anderson may not have been kidding when he breezed into the room at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills and apologized for being late. "I was out in the hallway looking at Eve's booty! When Eve comes in here, ask her about her booty!" One thing's for sure, this girl know how to make an entrance with hips swaying and button down shirt unbuttoned almost to her navel, she immediately hushes the room full of boisterous reporters without even uttering a word.
Over the years, we've seen her attractive mug at various music award shows with short cropped white blond hair or sporting shocking pink streaks. There has always been some clashing auras about the rapper - her allure is somewhat tinted with a brassy, edgy attitude. Not to mention her signature paw tattoos on her décolletage that she once referred to as a symbol that she's the bitch of the litter. As the only female members of the rap collaborative, Ruff Ryders, she held her own and dropped notable albums like, "Let There Be … Eve," which became the first debut album by a female rapper to enter the chart in the top spot.
The 23-year-old songstress is capping off the year with a one-two punch of a starring role in the movie, Barbershop and a new album entitled 'Eve-olution,' which is currently seated at the number one spot on the Billboard R&B/Hip Hop Album Chart. She also had a small role in this summer's blockbuster XXX as Vin Diesel's onscreen business partner and working on getting her next album on store shelves by 2003. All this, admits the noticeably ebullient Eve, has sometimes coaxed her into Castaway-like fantasies .
"Please! There are days now where I'm just like, 'I'm moving to an island and growing some dreads and having some kids and that's IT!'" she laughs. "But I'm driven!" Her single, "Gangsta Lovin" featuring Alicia Keyes is being played on heavy rotation on radio stations and on MTV. In the video, Eve is dressed in black leather and demanding attention from her man. The hard edge that has almost become synonymous with her name has been replaced the afternoon of the Barbershop press junket with muted make-up and a simple pony tail do as she answers a barrage of questions, apologizes for cutting a reporter off and thanking another reporter effusively when she compliments her silver screen performance.
It's with this newer more stream-lined image that she carries over to her film career. Has Eve taken cues from Courtney Love, who cleaned up her heroin-laden rock image to become the belle de jour in a Versace dress at the Academy Awards? No actually, Eve was inspired by a more unconventional actor.
"I didn't want to do it at first! I was like, 'It's not for me! I'm not acting. Whatever.' Then as corny as it sounds, I was really inspired by Slingblade."
In Barbershop, Eve joins the ensemble cast that includes Ice Cube, Anthony Anderson and Cedric the Entertainer. She plays the only female member of the shop and spends much of the movie demanding who drank her apple juice. Unlike other rap stars who have made the leap to film, Eve actually seems to get into character and act. (Can anyone else understand why Sean "P.Diddy" Combs garnered so much critical acclaim for his stoic and wooden role in Monster's Ball?) It seems that the mere idea of having rap stars broaden their Fubu horizons with acting is so facetious (Busta Rhymes in Halloween Resurrection) that as long as he (now she) doesn't botch up completely, then it's a good performance.
Knowing the pressures of already being a household name, Eve employed an acting coach.
"I didn't want to do it if I was going to do it half-assed! I will do whatever needs to be done," she says. "That's why I have a coach. I would've never been as cocky to say, 'Oh yeah, they want me for this part because I'm Eve. No. I want to be respected."
As Terri, a girl who wears her emotions on her sleeves and shifts from bitchy to gushy over her smooth-talking and cheating boyfriend, Eve admits to overlapping her own experiences into the performance.
"I love Terri to death! Being the only female among a bunch of guys, which I am with the Ruff Ryders, also having a hard edge, but being vulnerable with this man who cheats on her. I've been in that situation!"
Director Tim Story (making his feature film debut), knew that Eve was perfect for the role after the first read-through.
"I was very adamant about getting the right person for Terri and when Eve came to read for us, I was interested as soon as she opened her mouth. I've seen a lot of actresses, some of whom were phenomenal, but I was looking for somebody who was Terri, not somebody trying to be Terri," says Story.
I Started This Acting Sh*t. This is the Muthaf**kin' Thanks I Get?
Then there's this controversy over the wave of new-fangled rap stars who cruise through auditions lines perhaps solely on the fact that they sell millions of records. Some make good decisions and discard their music images in their dressing rooms others don't. Samuel L. Jackson, amongst other thespians, has expressed his xenophobic attitude towards the new wave of musicians immigrating into Hollywood and has stated that he refuses to be in a movie with a rap superstar. Let's not point out to Mr. Jackson what Eve's other job is besides sharing credits with him in XXX.
"My thoughts … okay this is so well-rehearsed!" Eve says with a laugh and then carefully picks her words. "I totally respect their opinions. I understand it because a lot of them have been trained since they were younger. But at the same time, it is a business - the movie business. And these [movie producers] see these main stream [musical] artists and they say. 'Let's put them in the movies and fill up our seats in the theater.' And that's just all that it is. And a lot of us are good! Why not give us a chance?"
The Naked Truth
It didn't all start out peaches and cream for Eve (born Eve Jihan Jeffers). The Philadelphia native started out as a member of a five-girl singing group, but got her big break when her manager introduced her to Michael Lynn, then president of Dr. Dre's label, Aftermath Entertainment. From that dream collaboration, Eve's song, "Eve of Destruction" became the soundtrack to the Warren Beatty film, Bulworth (1998). But within a year, Eve was dropped before she could release an album.
Eve also admits to taking a series of odd jobs before signing to Ruff Ryders and becoming a bona fide star. She looks up at the ceiling and rattles off a list of job titles that she has cultivated.
"I've worked retail, which is the worst shit ever! I did a lot of things for awhile. I stripped for a little while…" Rewind! What?
"It was a period of searching," Eve says and then dead-pans. "I found out that I wasn't supposed to be stripping! What the hell am I doing in this club?"
With the simultaneous success of her music and acting career, Eve admits to being too busy and too single. There are consolations though.
"To be honest, I think the hottest guy in film is Brad Pitt. Brad Pitt is like lord! I would like to work with Halle Berry. I would love to do something with Drew Barrymore. I think she's so cute! Brad Pitt. Denzel…"
Are you listening Brad? Call Anthony Anderson and he can fill you in on the benefits of working with Eve.
Rapper Eve Hit With Lawsuit
Rapper Eve has been hit with a breach of contract lawsuit for allegedly failing to pay her management company commission for big endorsement deals. The Barbershop star and her manager Troy Carter are among those who have had papers filed against them in the New York Supreme Court on June 27 by Wilhelmina Artist Management. According to the lawsuit, Eve entered into an exclusive two-year deal with Wilhelmina in May 2001 which allowed the company to represent her in the field of commercial marketing activities, which include modeling; runway; fashion; commercials; spokesperson deals; tour sponsorships; celebrity endorsements and product placement. The lawsuit alleges that Eve negotiated a side deal with Innovo Group executive Anthony Ottimo - who is also being sued - to launch her Fetish clothing line after Wilhelmina introduced the parties and initially negotiated a contract to have Eve endorse a variety of fashion items for TGG Enterprises Inc. In addition, the papers allege that Wilhelmina was never paid for negotiating contracts with Reebok and Candies Shoes, and that Eve attempted to sever ties with the company without paying its commissions. The specific amount of damages sought by Wilhelmina are not specified in the lawsuit.
Jackson and Sharpton Sued Over 'Barbershop' Complaints
A group of barbers and beauticians is suing civil rights leaders Reverend Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton - claiming their comments about the hit movie Barbershop drove away business. The National Association Of Cosmetologists (NAC) filed a lawsuit on Monday accusing the Reverend and Sharpton of intentional infliction of emotional distress, fraud, and negligence. In September the two politicians criticized the Ice Cube and Eve starring comedy, noting jokes in the film where Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks are mentioned in a negative light. Sharpton said, "I think that there are some things that go beyond humor. Martin Luther King died fighting for the freedom of all Americans. I don't think to disparage him, as a line in this movie does, is something that's funny. I don't think to say that Rosa Parks, who was arrested for sitting down in the front of the bus at that time causing a social revolution that led to desegregation, is something that is funny to me." The activists asked for the scenes to be removed for the film, MGM refused, leading to Sharpton threatening to boycott the box office hit. James Stern, chief executive of the of the NAC says, "By threatening to boycott MGM studios, they put a black eye to our subject matter of barbers and cosmetologists in the state of California." In response Sharpton labeled the allegations ridiculous, adding "Every movie critic would get sued. We haven't addressed their business. I addressed the film." Tracy Rice, spokeswoman for Jackson's Rainbow/Push coalition believes the suit will be thrown out of court. Rice remarks, "The First Amendment protects artistic expression, just as it protects Rev. Jackson's right to express his opinion."
Eve: Scorpion with sting
First, she gave New York's aggro Ruff Ryders clique — led by irrepressible top dog DMX — a touch of estrogen on their debut compilation, 1999's Ryde or Die. Six months later, the artist formerly known as Eve Jihan Jeffers dropped her first solo album, the chart-topping Eve — Ruff Ryders' First Lady, and grabbed the spotlight with the sing-songy hit "Gotta Man."
But for Ruff Ryders den mother Eve, 22, one of the real high points of the past year was recording tracks with rap's red-hot überproducer Dr. Dre. She hooked up with Dre to record a pair of tracks for her second solo album, Scorpion (due out March 6), three years after the gangsta rap star gave Eve her first break on the "Bulworth" soundtrack.
Now the Philadelphia native is prepping an album she says she labored over much more than her hard-hitting debut. She's also joined by several members of the Marley reggae dynasty on Scorpion, as well as DMX, fellow Ruff Ryders the LOX and her boyfriend, R&B singer Stevie J.
Curtis Waller of the MTV Radio Network caught up with Eve as she was putting the finishing touches on the LP and found out why a head-clearing trip to Jamaica helped inspire some of the new songs and add more of a reggae feel to her rhymes.
MTV Radio: Compare working on Scorpion to your first LP.
Eve: Working on the first album was a little different then this time around. I was fresh out of the bag, I was just running crazy. The second album took a little longer just because I had to make sure I was extremely happy with everything. I had a lot more to do with this album artistically. I love the first one, but this one is grown-up. [laughs]
MTV: Was your increased involvement the reason it took so long to finish this album?
Eve: I think so. My tracks were done early. My music was finished. Writing is nothing for me. It was after I was finished that I took the songs and I listened to them over and over and over again. I said, "Something needs to be changed. The mixes aren't right, I could say this better, I could do my lyrics over, let's make a new hook." I just critiqued it a little more and tweaked it better. I had to make it so when it comes out, I'm not regretting anything.
MTV: Was there anything from the first album that you would have changed?
Eve: No, not one thing.
MTV: What's the meaning behind the title of the new album?
Eve: Q-Tip said I should name it Scorpio. I thought, "I don't really like that name, but it would be kind of hot because I am a Scorpio." That represents me, and I did want a name that represented Eve and who I am as a person. I thought Scorpion sounded feminine and strong also. Scorpios are known to be strong, very passionate, loyal, moody and jealous. I am every aspect of a Scorpio. It describes who I am, a Scorpio woman.
MTV: Do you pack a scorpion's sting?
Eve: I'm coming after anybody that feels like trying to get in my way. That's women, men, whatever. You'll feel the sting, believe me.
MTV: The first single is "Who's That Girl." Is that a reference to the Madonna movie?
Eve: No, it's not actually. I need to go get that movie, 'cause people keep asking me and I love her to death. But I didn't think about it until I did the song and people were asking me that question.
MTV: You worked with some producers outside of the Ruff Ryders on this album, including Dr. Dre and Stephen Marley. How did that work out?
Eve: The Marleys are just beautiful, peaceful people who are very into their work When I met them, I did a special with them for their father in Jamaica. Stephen sang a song and I was like, "You gotta get on my album." So that was a beautiful experience. Working with Dre, that was really fun. We work real good together and really fast. We were both excited to work with each other again, so that was a good experience, too.
MTV: What are your songs with the Marleys and Dre?
Eve: I have one song with the Marleys called "No, No, No." It's an old Dawn Penn song, a reggae song that I sang over. Stephen and Damian Marley are chanting on it. I chanted a little bit, plus I sang the whole song so it came out hot. I did three songs with Dre. Actually, I think only two of them are going to make it [onto the album]. One, Dre made me sing. I sang a hook and the first four bars on the second verse. I'm gonna let him title it. We have another song called "What," which is like a battle song.
MTV: What made you choose the Dawn Penn song?
Eve: I love that song. It's a classic and I wanted to sing something on the album, but I wanted to sing something that people could relate to. "No, No, No" is a song that people know — white, black, even people who don't like reggae love that song. That's one of the songs that I told them I wanted to do a video for. Just to throw out there; it don't have to be a single.
MTV: Tell us about some more tracks on the album.
Eve: I have one with Teena Marie singing the hook, called "Living Life Is So Hard." It's like the song I had on the last album called "Heaven Only Knows." This song is about my transition from everything I've been through this past year. My relationship, how close I've gotten to God, things I've been through with friends. I'm thankful for everything, happiness or heartache. I take it as a lesson. We thought Teena Marie would be the perfect person to sing the hook, 'cause there's so much feeling in her.
Of course, I have a song with the guys, our street song. That's called "Thug in the Streets." I have a song called "Wake Up," which talks to people that are always complaining about the world but never do anything about it. I have a couple party songs, and the Dre song. It's a wide range. There's something on there for everyone, 14 tracks.
MTV: How is your relationship with Stevie J. now that he's coming out with an album?
Eve: Our relationship is great. I'm excited for him, and he's very excited. I'm behind him all the way. I pray to God it doesn't mess us up. We feel as if we have a strong bond and strong love. We'll have to wait and see what happens. I think we'll be all right. [laughs]
MTV: Are either of you featured on each other's project?
Eve: Stevie's all over my album. We sang something together, the Dre joint. We harmonized together. He produced a song called "You Had Me, You Lost Me." He sang on another one. He's all over the album. We have two other projects — one on his album and one that came out on the "Girlfight" soundtrack.
MTV: There's been word that DMX has left the Ruff Ryders; he himself has said this. How has this affected the Ruff Ryders family?
Eve: He's still with us. I don't see it as leaving us, really. I see it as him branching out. He's a man with a family who is grown, and he wants a label. It's the next logical move and we're happy for him to be branching off. He's gonna be my dog for life. He's with me. It's still family no matter what.
MTV: So talk of animosity is just talk?
Eve: Right. There is none. A couple of people have asked me how I think it's gonna affect my album sales or other artists' album sales, and I don't think it's going to affect the Ruff Ryders at all.
MTV: What's up next for the Ruff Ryders camp?
Eve: My album, of course. Then Jadakiss is doing his solo thing. Then we have another compilation. Drag-On is coming, the Lox is coming. We've got some new artists. So there's a lot of stuff coming out from the camp.
MTV: After your first album, the tour was crazy. There were points where you guys were reported to be just exhausted, working on the new album.
Eve: I experienced a lot of stress on that tour. It really took a toll on my body, my mind and my spirit. I had to take time just to get back into myself. It took a couple months to really get my mind right, to even be able to write a record. I went to Jamaica for a little while and chilled out. That's my favorite spot. When I came back, it was hard actually starting the album. It was hard for me to write because I had so many things on my mind; my emotions weren't right. But the writing helped me bounce back. So by the end of the album I thought, "I'm 100 percent right now. Yeah."
MTV: What will you do differently on the next tour?
Eve: Definitely, my bus is gonna be less crowded. I'm gonna eat better, way better. I wasn't taking care of myself. I am gonna exercise. I'm gonna keep my surroundings positive, 'cause they weren't last time. I am gonna try to keep everything as organized as it can be.
MTV: Tell us about your tattoos.
Eve: Oh, my dog paws. I got them as a dare, but they look good. It's just funny, 'cause I got with the Ruff Ryders and they call themselves dogs and I call myself the bitch of the litter. And it just stuck, like the paws were supposed to be there. It's my favorite tattoo — or one of my favorites, anyway. [RealAudio]
MTV: What are the other tattoos?
Eve: I have one on my lower back that I got after my first album. It's a scorpion and an apple with two Chinese symbols that say "strong female." That's my favorite one because that's Eve. I have a big flower on my right shoulder. I just got that one in Miami to cover up my first tattoo, a little Chinese symbol, that I got when I was 18. I have a tattoo on my right wrist and my left arm and I want another one, but my mother says to stop it. But I can't. I'm addicted, so I'll probably get another one.
MTV: Valentine's Day is coming up. What makes that day special for you?
Eve: Valentine's Day is very special now that I have a love. But I never really paid attention to it until I actually fell in love. Stevie said we're supposed to be going away, but we'll see. He said it's a surprise and I'm waiting. It will be nice even if we just stay home.
MTV: What would you like for Valentine's Day?
Eve: I know what I would like, but I don't want to say it. [laughs] Bling, bling.