Eve isn’t letting anyone take her crown just yet. After a multi-year retreat from the Hollywood scene, Eve officially made her return to the spotlight earlier this year. The former Ruff Ryders’ first lady may have dropped Lip Lock—her first album in 11 years—last spring with disappointing sales, but she still has a few tricks up her sleeve. At this point in her career and personal life, the Philadelphia-born rapper turned actress turned fashion mogul remains in the driver’s seat.
For a lot of hip-hop artists, one album can make or break their career. For Eve Jihan Jeffers, Lip Lock isn’t your typical rap album. “I honestly didn’t have any kind of expectations about the album,” Eve says. “Right off the bat, I knew it was a different kind of album. I knew the music I put on it and the singles I put out wouldn’t be on the radio. I kind of did that on purpose. I wanted to make the music I wanted to make. And ultimately, I knew that my real fans, fans that know me and love me, were going to come with me anyway.
“More than anything, I’m happy I was able to put my album out,” she continues. “I’m still happy with it. I knew it wasn’t going to be a big giant blown out the water. But I’m happy with the people that are into it and even currently discovering it.”
The MC/actress also used her time away to expand her acting portfolio, starring in the sci-fi action flick, Bounty Killer, which is available on DVD October 29. In the film she plays Mocha Sujata, queen of the gypsies. “It was real fun to do,” Eve confesses. “I took the role because it was so different than I’ve ever done before.”
Fans also shouldn’t be surprised if they get to see the former “pitbull in a skirt” week after week on their TV screens again soon, shades of the UPN’s Eve (which ran for three years in the early aughties). “It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately,” shares Eve. “Some conversations have been happening, so don’t be surprised if you were to see me again. It’s something I’m actually looking forward to.”
It’s unsurprising that Eve’s remained relevant after all these years. Her passionate humility has always resonated with her fans across the globe. “I still feel lucky that people are still wanting to hear from me and see me on screen,” says Eve. “I don’t ever take that for granted. I’ve always been the type of person that tried to stay away from b.s., being out and doing crazy stuff, so I feel like maybe people appreciate that.”
As for whether or not she’s threatened by Nicki Minaj or any other up-and-coming female MCs, Eve isn’t even breaking a sweat. “I’m not trying to compete,” shares the Grammy-winner. “I don’t really feel like anyone out here is my competition. When I do music, I do it for me and my fans. I’m not trying to compete with any of these chicks, trying to relive any moments. That’s just not my thing.”
The only thing she’s worried about? “I just want to produce and create projects that I’m passionate about and I love,” she says. “And on the personal side, I still want to be a wife and a mom.”
Kimberly N. Wilson is a NYC-based lifestyle/entertainment writer and digital strategist. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park and completed her juris doctor from Howard University School of Law. Follow her on Twitter @kimberlynatasha.