This past Tuesday, May 14, was a good day. I got a chance to kick it with rap veteran and former Ruff Ryder Eve (through the phone) on the official album release day for her first project in 11 years, the much-anticipated Lip Lock. For Eve, it was an activity-laden day filled with seemingly endless phone interviews and appearances, but when I spoke to her, she was absolutely right in the pocket and in her element. During our conversation, not only did Eve share the inspiration for her long-awaited return to music, but also her thoughts on living large in London, sisterhood (or the lack thereof) among female hip-hop artists, collaborating with the likes of fellow female MC Missy Elliott and Snoop Lion, and what she’d say to her former paramour Stevie J if she were to bump into him on the street.
(Check out Eve’s Style Evolution: Then Vs. Now!)
VH1: So you went through a few names before settling on Lip Lock for your fourth album. Can you explain the intriguing and somewhat erotic title?
Eve: I like things that you can do word play with, and Lip Lock is smooches, kisses. It’s lips — my lips are one of my favorite features on myself. And then it’s like lyrically locking the game down because I’m a lyricist.
Like the Miguel song says, “You’re international baby!” What do you miss about America the most when you’re in London, and vice versa?
What I miss about London is, while it is kind of busy and it’s lively, I still have room to breathe. New York is so full on, like constant everyday, nonstop. And it’s almost like sometimes you don’t have room to breathe. London, when I go there, it feels like I can breathe a little bit and relax more. But when I’m there, I miss the craziness of New York! It’s a double-edged sword because I kinda want to get away from [New York] but then when I’m [in London] I’m like awww, I miss that craziness. New York has an energy like nowhere else.
On the VH1 show La La’s Full Court Life there was an episode where La La went to London and wasn’t too particularly happy with the food there. Have you found anything that you like?
Yeah! They have this tradition in London that I love, Sunday roast, and that’s like my favorite thing. They literally have what we would for Thanksgiving, but they don’t have turkey – it’s usually chicken and vegetables and gravy. Every Sunday that is something that people do in London, and that’s something I love.