Once dubbed the “pit bull in a skirt” on her 1999 album Ruff Ryders’ First Lady, Philadelphia native Eve has reinvented herself from one of hip-hop’s only successful female rappers to Hollywood's glamour girl. The Grammy winning artist, who starred in her own hit television show, simply titled Eve, for three years has also co-starred in the hugely successful films Barber Shop, The Woodsman and Vin Diesel's XXX .
Through all of the success Eve has not forgotten the music. It has been five years since the release of her last album and you can mark her eagerly anticipated return with Here I Am, which hit stores August 7th. The album brings Eve back to her roots with production by Dr. Dre and Timbaland, and features with Mary J. Blige, Robin Thicke and more. MF chatted up a glowing and excited Eve about the new album, staying healthy under the bright lights and much more.
Men's Fitness: What can we expect from the new album Here I Am?
Eve: What I don't want people to try to get from this album is what they got from three albums ago, two albums ago, or my first album. I am a woman now. At those points in my life I was young and going through a lot of different things. Of course I’m still living my life and going through things, but I feel like with this album you'll definitely hear maturity. My ear for music is different, I listen to a lot of reggae—I have three reggae songs on the album. A lot of me picking some of the music that I put on this album are influences from the music that I listen to. I'm in a very good place in my life I'm very happy, I'm single—you can hear it all over the album! [Laughs] I just wanted to make an album that felt good to people. I didn't want to make an album that people listen to and they’re like, “Oh my God, why is she talking about this relationship?” or “Why is she talking about how much she's getting back in the game?” This album was so much more about just making people feel good, you know, just making good music.
What kind of sound is the album, we know you sing—is it pop, hip-hop, R&B?
I am singing on this album. I sang a whole song, which I've never done before. There's hip-hop stuff on the album too. The song that I did with TI is straight up hip-hop, there's no singing in it, but then a lot of the other songs are very up-tempo dance tracks or mid-tempo. So that's for the people to decide, I've never like to put labels on myself. I feel like my music is universal.
There is a big problem with the lack of sales in hip-hop; last year TI was the only hip-hop artist to have a platinum album. Are you concerned about that?
I think about it, but I don’t let it run my everyday thought process because I if I did I probably would not be putting out an album. [Laughs] The nature of the business right now, I knew exactly what I was getting into while putting out this album. The only thing I can do is just hope it will definitely do well.
We’re you surprised the television show didn’t get picked up after the CW merger?
I was surprised about it because I thought for sure, we were coming back, but when we didn’t it, I was like okay…you know, it was a political situation that I had nothing to do with. [Laughs]
Do you find fame addictive?
It can be. It’s definitely something that you can get rid of. When you’re chilling, you’re chilling, but when it’s back you want more of it. It definitely can be addictive.
What are your biggest aspirations you haven't achieved?
Marriage and babies.
I'm sure you have a hectic schedule. What do you do to stay healthy?
Healthy? Oh my God–I’m like coughing up lungs, I just got rid of this cough, I was so sick. I try my hardest to get as much sleep as I can. Depending on whenever my schedule is, when I’m done I get in the bed. Really that’s the best thing you can do. I try to workout as much as I can, but I’m lazy so that doesn’t happen often. I try to eat right that really is important—and water. You must drink water that really has so much to do with everything.
When you do workout what’s your regimen?
I’ll do 15 to 20 minutes of cardio on the treadmill like running, sprinting and then walking, sprinting and walking. Then I’ll go through the crunches, squats and some weights.
Clay Cane is the creator of the urban pop culture site www.claycane.net.