Eve (born Eve Jihan Jeffers on November 10, 1978 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American rapper, singer, and actress associated with the Aftermath crew. She adopted the name Gangsta in high school as part of an all-female group called EDGP (pronounced Egypt), and eventually went solo as Eve of Destruction. |
Eve was one of a new breed of tough, talented, commercially viable female MCs to hit the rap scene during the late '90s. Though she could be sexy when she chose, she wasn't as over the top as Lil' Kim or Foxy Brown. In the end, Eve came off as her own person; a strong, no-nonsense street MC who could hold her own with most anyone on the mic; and was finding success on her own terms.
Although surrounded by trouble among her peers, Eve was always one to use her creativity positively. Even in the third grade, she was writing poetry and short stories as a student, and earning merit awards for her work.
Eve displayed a talent for emceeing as a teenager, and under the name "gangsta," she was rapping as part of a rap group, EDGP (pronounced "Egypt"). The group broke up not long after only a few performances, which prompted Eve to go her own way and take her emcee and rap skills to local talent shows and clubs. Naming herself "Eve of Destruction," Eve was paving the road to success and conquering the rap scene in Philadelphia -- a difficult feat for a female.
Although Eve had talent and was creative, she was still a delinquent while in school, but she didn't let that stop her from graduating. She used her work as an outlet for all the negatives in her life, which is evident in her released albums.
This is not to say that she was a "good girl" - far from it. Her mother's remarriage left Eve bitter, and she felt the need to escape, so she headed out to a strip club in the New York Bronx, where she had a brief stint as a strip dancer. Using the names Mystique, Cinnamon and Ginger, Eve was racking in the cash, and was keeping it a secret from her mother. Never happy or proud about her newfound career, she decided to give it up and give rapping a real try, after a conversation with Ma$e.
She finally got her break with the help of her friends, who tricked Aftermath Records' producer Dr. Dre into listening to her audition. They arranged a meeting with him, but Dre never knew Eve was coming to sing. When she showed up, they popped in a tape and Eve started rapping. Nevertheless, surprised or not, Dr. Dre liked what he saw, called her the next day, and invited her to come to California where they would record her demo.
Together they cut a three-song demo, which included "Eve of Destruction" (which ended up on the Bulworth soundtrack. Eve was signed to a one-year contract with Aftermath, but since it was still in its growth, her contract expired before she got started on her album.
Eve headed back to Philly (after having befriended DMX), and began hanging out with the Ruff Ryders' crew. After Eve rapped against emcees such as Drag-On and Infa Red, and made an impression, she was asked to sign with Ruff Ryders Records.
After a period of working as a stripper, Eve returned to hip-hop at the encouragement of rap superstar Mase; she recorded "Eve of Destruction", which appeared on the soundtrack to Bulworth in 1998 (see 1998 in music). Her label, Aftermath Records, found itself in financial trouble and Eve was soon without a record contract. She had, however, befriended DMX and appeared on a remix of his hit single "Ruff Ryders Anthem" from his multi platinum selling debut album, It's Dark and Hell is Hot, along with other Ruff Ryders' compilations. Her next single, "What Ya Want", featuring Nokio of Dru Hill, soon became a hit, and she collaborated with The Roots, Blackstreet and Janet Jackson, which further expanded her fan base. Her 1999 debut, Let There Be Eve...Ruff Ryders First Lady, was an unprecedented success, becoming the second hip-hop album by a woman to enter the Billboard 200 at #1 (the first was by Brooklyn rapper, Foxy Brown).
The follow-up, Scorpion, was released in 2001 to good reviews. Its first single, "Who's That Girl" guaranteed the rapper first international success. The second single, "Let Me Blow Ya Mind" (with Gwen Stefani of No Doubt) became a pop success, peaking at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song won a Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, and Scorpion eventually went platinum.
Eve's third album, Eve-Olution, was released in summer 2002 (see 2002 in music) and peaked at #6 on Billboard. In the meantime, the album's first single, "Gangsta Lovin'", with Alicia Keys, became another #2 hit. The second and final single, "Satisfaction", only saw moderate success again. Afterwards, Eve closed out 2003 by signing to UPN for a television show about a fashion designer titled, Eve, and a feature on Mary J. Blige's single, "Not Today".
In 2005, the rapper appeared on Gwen Stefani's top ten hit "Rich Girl", which peaked at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in March. The same year, she appeared on the remix of Amerie's #8 US Top 100/#1 US R&B single from the Hitch Soundtrack, "1 Thing."
Her strong, sexy character would explain her stint in Sprite's Deadly Venom ad campaign, freestyling and doing karate.
She loves her permanent body art - her tattoos, which include dog paws, a scorpion and an apple with 2 Chinese symbols that say "strong female" on her lower back, and a big flower on her right shoulder.
Currently, Eve is working on her fourth solo album on Aftermath Entertainment/Full Surface Records (she is still signed to the Ruff Ryders Records and to their management company). The record is said to involve productions by Dr. Dre, Swizz Beatz and Scott Storch, and guest appearances by T.I., Adam Levine and Shakira.
Eve appeared in XXX with Vin Diesel, both Barbershop and Barbershop 2 with Ice Cube, The Cookout with Queen Latifah and Meagan Good, and The Woodsman with Kevin Bacon in mid 2004. She also voiced Major Jones in XIII.
Eve currently stars in the UPN television show, Eve, as a fashion designer named Shelly.
Eve is romantically involved with Teodorín Nguema Obiang, son and heir of an African dictator. In 2003, a nude photo of what appeared to be Eve with another woman leaked on the Internet. At the time, Eve said of the photo: "I used to strip, so it could be me or it could not be me." She also said, the person who released the photo had tried to blackmail her. In 2005, a clip of a sex tape she created in 1999 was leaked on the Internet. She took legal action to have sites remove the clip.