Pretty, tough-girl rapper Eve won a Grammy Award in 2002 for her Ruff Ryders collaboration with Gwen Stefani, and her hit album, Eve-Olution, came out the same year. (For the record, Eve should have two Grammys; she was featured on the R...
Pretty, tough-girl rapper Eve won a Grammy Award in 2002 for her Ruff Ryders collaboration with Gwen Stefani, and her hit album, Eve-Olution, came out the same year. (For the record, Eve should have two Grammys; she was featured on the Roots song “You Got Me,” which won a Grammy in 2000, but she somehow never received a statuette.) Early success aside, the Philadelphia native known for her lyrical swagger and her sharp partnerships with DMX, Alicia Keys, Ludacris, and Lil Jon has been fairly quiet over the past decade. Her collaborative spirit is plenty alive, though; Eve is so into working with other talented musicians that last year she started uploading homemade remixes to YouTube with her rhymes over existing hits by Rihanna, Brandy, Miguel, and other unwitting costars. This month she invited legends such as Missy Elliott and Snoop Dogg to make cameos on her veritable comeback album, Lip Lock. Here, she talks about eponymous songs, the purse she can’t put down, and crazy-detailed nail art.
—Sarah Z. Wexler
This month you performed with the Roots on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. How was it to reunite with them?It was amazing. They’re so incredible. Most of them I’ve known since I was 15 years old!
The new album is called Lip Lock—why?My lips are my favorite feature—they’re fun, flirty.
So is your favorite beauty product lipstick, then?[It's] Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream. [It's] the best thing ever. I put it all over my face on long flights, to keep my skin moisturized. If I’m breaking out, I put it on, and the next day it’s taken the inflammation down. I also use it on cuticles and lips, small cuts—it’s a miracle cream.
You’ve also been sporting some serious nail art recently. What’s on your nails right now?I have white nails with black Old English letters that say “Lip Lock” and have little red lips on some of them. I’m also feeling bright pastels because it’s spring, like light blues and light greens.
It must be hard writing a song that sums up who you are, yet you endeavored to do just that with the single “Eve.” How did you even begin that process?That song is introducing people to me coming back and letting them know where I’m at, at this point in my life, so it’s the perfect introduction to the album. One day I was so tired, I didn’t want to go to the studio, but my producer said, “Come in. We got the beat for you.” I heard it, and I wrote the song so fast—I was so energized. After the second verse, I was like, “I need a Jamaican girl on it!” [Jamaican singer Miss Kitty guests on the song.] The beat was so aggressive, in your face, it needed that to punch it even more.
You’ve always been fairly fashion-forward, even back in the late nineties: The paw-print tattoos you have on your chest definitely inspired many an imitation. Whose style do you love?Rihanna’s really dope; I like the way she dresses. I’m sure her closet is amazing.
It sure seems like it would be. What about your closet? You’ve lived in New York, L.A., and London—which city’s fashion is most inspiring to you?London. That’s where I’ve been spending a lot of time. You see so many kinds of styles, and they’re so individual. It inspires me to open up my style and express myself. Right now I’m completely obsessed with a Louis Vuitton purse that’s a collaboration with Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama; it’s got yellow polka dots, and I take that bag everywhere.
Photo: Amarpaul Kaliari