Eve: Have You Seen My Pitbull In A Skirt?

posted August 29, 2007 12:00:00 AM CDT | 18 comments

Whether shes the hardcore pitbull in a skirt from early Ruff Ryders LPs or the glamorous diva from Eve-olution, Eve has always stood out. Initially making a name for herself as the lone female MC amongst the likes of DMX and The LOX, the Philadelphia beauty later made a name for herself in other forums, snagging film roles, starring in a self-titled sitcom, and modeling high-end fashion. But now, five years removed from her last album, Eve is refocused on what got her here: music. In an interview with HipHopDX, Eve talks about her new album, dealing with life in the limelight, and working with two of the best producers in the industry.

HipHopDX: Its been a minute since your last album, so what all have you been up to?
: I had a TV show for three years, and I took off a year. I really didnt take off a year, I just moved away and took a minute to figure out what I wanted to do with myself. I had the TV show for three years, and it took me a year to do the album. So thats the five years right there.

HipHopDX: Where did you move to?
: L.A.

HipHopDX: How much of a change was that for you?
: It was a big move, but Im the type of person who, if I feel it, Ive got to do it. I just needed a change of scenery, so that was it. I just left and went to L.A.

HipHopDX: So how much did it help you decide what you wanted to do?
: I guess it helped a lot. I didnt go to L.A. specifically to look do a TV show, because it wasnt something I thought I wanted to do. But once my manager and I talked about it, and since we were in Hollywood it seemed like a good thing. So we started taking meetings, and people were interested, so it happened.

HipHopDX: How long had you gone without recording before getting started on the new album? Was it difficult for you to get back in to the groove of it?
: I actually tried to start the album the first year I did the TV show, but I just couldnt do both, so I stopped. For TV shows you have hiatuses in the summertime, so for the second hiatus, I tried to start it but I had to get back to the show, so I had to stop again. We had three years, but after the third hiatus when it didnt come back, I was like, This is the perfect time to do it. It took me a good four months for me to find myself again, get back in that studio zone and figure out what it is I wanted to write about. It took about four months, but after that four months, I just started rolling.

HipHopDX: I havent gotten the chance to hear the album yet, but from what Ive heard, you opted to stay away from the harder tracks and to go more with singsongy tracks. What made you go in that direction?
: I dont think it was a conscious thing. On my other records, I had singsongy tracks. All my records have singing hooks or whatever. I guess this time around, the beats I was picking were just more musical. But it wasnt a real decision, because Ive got a joint with T.I., Ive got another joint called Get That Money thats street or whatever. But it just happened. Those were the tracks that people that brought for me, and those were the tracks I decided to write to.

HipHopDX: How do you respond to criticism when people say, I like the Pitbull in a skirt Eve better than the Eve that makes songs like these?
: I dont really respond to it. Everybody has an opinion. At the end of the day, pitbull in a skirt was on my first album. If anyone follows my career, they see Ive been in songs and videos with Gwen Stefani, and Prince, and a lot of other different kinds of people in music. I dont feel in any way that its different form the person that I was. Im 28 years old, I was 21 years old when that album came out. I had to grow as a person, thats a natural growth. It would be fake of me to pretend to be the same chick I was when I made that first album. It wouldnt even sound right on me, I couldnt even spit that same shit. Its the same chick, but Ive grown up. Im a businesswoman now, Im a lady. But at the same time, its the same girl. It doesnt change, it just grows. So I dont really have a response to it. I think everyone has their personal opinion of what stage of my life they liked me in, but thats their thing, not mine.

HipHopDX: You had been on Ruff Ryders for a minute, and you seemed to really like it there. What made you decide to leave?
: I didnt decide to leave. It was not a decision that was made by me, it was a decision that was made above me as far as Ruff Ryders leaving Interscope. Ive always been an Interscope artist; even when I got signed to Ruff Ryders, I was signed to Aftermath first, but through Interscope. It was a decision that was beyond me, it was one of those things where Ruff Ryders moved on, but contractually, I was still an Interscope artist. But at the end of the day, without Ruff Ryders, I still wouldnt be me. Were still family. I see them all the time, of course Swizz is executive producing on the album. I just saw Drag-On not too long ago. Were still family. Your kids go up to college, but you dont disown them. It wasnt a conscious thing for me to leave.

HipHopDX: What kind of relationship do you have with Dre?
: I actually just talked to Dre yesterday. Me and Dre have a big brother/little sister, I know best kind of relationship. Because hes a perfectionist, and I dont like being told what to doand its not that he tells me what to do, its just that Im just very opinionated. Were cool to sit, because I love Dre and we have a great relationship, but when we get in the studio its just battle, because I feel like hes always trying to tell me what to do. But at the end of the day, he does know best, because hes Dre. Musically, we have a great relationship.

HipHopDX: How is working with Swizz different?
: Me and Swizz have spent so much time together with Ruff Ryders that he knows me, we barely even have to talk. I dont really have to think twice when hes like, Sissy, Ive got this joint for you. Listen to it, but this is how I think you should do it. And Im like, Aight, whatever. Its never really an argument. If I really dont like something, he never forces anything on me, so he knows how to approach me. Its real easy: we go in, and it is what it is. No back and forth, no arguing, no nothing.

HipHopDX: Since your last album came out, your name has been in the news for some things other than musicthe sex tape before, and then rumors about your relationship. Was it difficult for you to focus when that stuff was going around?
: Well, it is what it is. I understand what kind of business Im in. it is difficult at times, I cant lie. There have been times where I kind of check out for two days, Ill take two or three days to just figure shit out. But Ive got a good team of people. First and foremost, Ive got God, thats number one, I pray heavy. Then I have my mother. I call my mom and tell her some bad news, and as long as she has my back and shes like, Are you OK? Well get through this, thats all I need. After that, Ive got management and publicity and lawyers, thats what I pay them for. Its fucked up, but at the same time, thats my life. And I never deny anything Ive done in my life. It doesnt hinder me in any way; if anything, it keeps me motivated and keeps me moving.

HipHopDX: One thing Ive noticed about you is that unlike other people in your field, when those things come out about you, youre really upfront about it, but it wouldnt seem like it was for a publicity stunt. Its more like: This is what out there, this is what it is, Im going to address it, and thats it. Is it important for you to be upfront like that?
: I have to be. Whats the point in denying it? It is what it is. If I did it, I did it; if I didnt, I didnt. thats life. Nobody can judge me more than God can judge me; thats my basic philosophy in life. Everybody is going to have an opinion; you can be the nicest person in the world, and there are going to be people who still hate you because youre so nice. You can be a fucked up person; it doesnt matter. Your life is your life, and my life is public. It is what it is. I dont believe in publicity stunts, number one. And number two, I dont know, I guess I feel like I just have to deal with it. I cant hide. I could, but then Id be like a failure. [laughs] And I cant live with that.

HipHopDX: As you know, theres a lack of respected female rappers out there these days. How much of your music is you making music you normally make, and how much is you trying to prove a point that there are talented female MCs out there?
: When I make music, I dont think about it in that way. I know that especially right now, there arent too many girls out. But I dont really think about it. I feel like I am representing; I dont feel like have to prove a point to represent. I feel like I am representing. Im representing for the ladies right now until we get some more ladies that are coming up. Missys coming up, Kim is coming up, which is dope. Im holding the flag, but I dont think about it constantly, like Ive got to prove a point that girls are still out. Nah. Im proving a point by being out. Im a woman, and Im rapping, so automatically, Im representing.

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