There wasn’t a fan of hip hop in the 90s who didn’t know the name Eve. The powerful female artist was deemed tough enough to roll with the Ruff Ryders and was a respected member of the team. A few days ago, on March 6, her sophomore album Scorpion turned 20.
Eve is no longer as active in the music business but has used her platform to successfully transition into a talk show host and actress. The “Who’s that Girl” singer sat down with HipHopDX recently to discuss the early days of her career and what she’s been up to lately. She went all the way back to the very genesis of her career and said none of her success would have come to fruition if she wasn’t dropped from Dr. Dre’s label, Aftermath Entertainment, in 1998. She was then known as the Eve of Destruction, but after finding a family in the Ruff Ryders, she rebranded herself as just Eve.
Many fans may think that her new label asked her to bring more sex appeal to her brand, but she revealed that they were actually the ones who told her to keep her clothes on.
“If anything, they were trying to cover me up, like literally. I would come to the studio and I’d have on my little a#s crop top with some tight pants and I never wore sneakers, ever. I never wore sneakers. I always wore heels. And so they used to be like, ‘Can you put on a pair of Timbs and a vest.’ What the hell?” she said.
She also reminisced about her Ruff Ryders debut in 1999, “Let There Be Eve…Ruff Ryders’ First Lady”. She shared that the song was actually converted from a poem that she wrote about domestic violence.
“I wrote that as a poem when I was 16 because my best friend was being beaten by this dude. She was like 15. And at the time my friend, she got pregnant by the dude who was like 35, something crazy like that,” she said. Eve shared that the man would keep her friend at his apartment, and he would often punch her in the face. She used the confusion and anger she felt at the time to channel a poem.
When she wrote the song, she didn’t anticipate the response it would get as it resonated with women who suffered domestic abuse worldwide.
“I didn’t understand the impact of actual domestic violence until the song came out and the people would come up to me and tell me like, ‘Thank you for the song’ or ‘My mom was in or I’m going through this’ or ‘It helped me walk away from something and I went to go get help,'” she added.
The experience helped her understand how much fans connected with her through her music—a lesson she would value and hold on to throughout her career. While the genre was once male-dominated, she’s happy to see artists like Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion, and Nicki Minaj rising to the call of female artists in hip-hop.
“I have to say, I love the strength and the beauty and the sexiness of being owned by those females who are coming out. They are now doing their own versions of being those bosses and owning their sexuality,” she continued.
The Grammy-ward winning artist basically lives in England now after marrying British entrepreneur Maximillion Cooper and is currently working on an ABC television show Queens with Naturi Naughton.