Let’s get the rumors out of the way first:

Yes, Eve is dating millionaire Londoner Maximillion Cooper. And yes, he’s White.

They’ve been together several years and, yes, she traded her New York City digs for a home across the pond; however, no, she’s not pregnant—yet.

Meanwhile, she’s been in the studio producing her first album in 11 years: a witty compendium of poptastic hits and classically hip-hop female anthems. One song, “She Bad Bad,” might even have Yoruba roots, according to some of her fans, and has been igniting the Twittersphere in both Nigeria and the States. You’ll hear it on her new LP Lip Lock, out this month.

“It’s been a minute since the last album, and [the holdup] wasn’t planned,” she says. “I had the TV show. Then I went through issues with Interscope. It took a year or so for me to get out of my deal with [the label], and it took another year for me to find another deal.”

Fast-forward to now. She’s all set to tour this summer and is likely coming soon to a city near you. And of course, she’ll be doing it while singing the praises of her new boo, Max.

Eve says it’s funny now many Black women now look at her as “proof” they should give White men a shot. “In Europe, you see more interracial relations than you see same-color relationships, at least in London and Paris,” says Eve. “I still sometimes look at [Max] and think, ‘I can’t believe I’m with a White dude.’ Obviously there are cultural differences, but you just have to be open to talking about them. It’s not about race or color, especially now. It’s about who is going to treat my heart the best.”

She doesn’t have much to say about ex-boyfriend Stevie J, perhaps now best known as a character on VH1’s Love and Hip Hop Atlanta. But she can still wax poetic about the state of women and hip-hop. There are far too few female MCs, she says.

“It’s unfortunate that there’s just a handful of girls [who] are out,” she says. “When I was out, there were a few of us. It made the game better. You need that balance to the testosterone. I don’t know if labels aren’t looking for girls as much as they used to or if crews aren’t really using some of the girls they might have. I hope it does change.” —ASG