You’re dating a rich guy, Maximillion Cooper. How did you find him?
I got lucky with that. When I met Max, I honestly thought he was gonna be the worst
dude I'd ever met just based on his lifestyle and the company that he runs. I really thought he was gonna be out with a chick every other week. And he’s so not. And I was ready for that in my life. Before I met him, I was single. I was like, "I want somebody serious," and I kept saying that to myself. He just happened to be the dude. He's very supportive and he’s a man. He’s really a good guy.
What have you learned about love?
I learned a lot about myself and things that I needed to be ready in my head and my heart before I could attract the kind of dude I want. That is really real. You gotta know who you are or at least be really honest with yourself with certain things you want before you get that kind of love. 'Cause I was the kind of chick for a minute that I was like, "I don’t understand why I keep dating this kind of dude. He can't even commit." But I was the kind of chick that wasn't committing. There were things I wanted that I wasn't giving out. And you can't do that. It’s gotta be fifty-fifty for real. And it’s gotta be real. I’m a really blunt, real honest person now and I think that's important. There's a lot of people in relationships that half the people that they lay next to, they don’t have a clue who they really are. They get up out of bed leave the apartment or leave each other’s company and they’re off doing different things that they won’t even tell each other, and I think that’s crazy.
How old were you when you first fell in love or thought you did?
I was 20.
Do you keep in touch with Swizz, Drag-on and DMX?
Yeah, Swizz, I talk to every so often. I talk to him more than anybody else. I don't really get to see or talk to anybody else. I saw Drag probably end of the [last] summer, but it's always love when we see each other. I see Dee from Ruff Ryder every so often, and Waah--we get together when we can. Everybody’s lives are scattered and busy and people live different places. We don't really get to talk as much as we could.
Did you reach out to X when he was getting in all that trouble and getting arrested?
We talked at one point when he got out of jail a long time ago. But I heard about it like everybody else heard about it. And if he didn't contact me personally, I didn't want to hit him up. But we seem to be able to get in touch every so often.
From the outside, it seemed like he was in a bad place. Did you just let him go through it?
He's the kind of person... If you know X, then you know how to deal with X. X is not gon’ talk to you or tell you nothing until he's ready and that’s just how he is. And we keep it real with each other. Of course, I care about him, I talk to him, he knows I’m here for him wherever, however, but X is X. You gotta let him just do him and anybody that knows him knows that’s true.
What did you learn from the experience of putting out a fashion line? What will you do better next time?
I definitely wouldn't have let my partners dictate so much of the Fetish line and dictate so much of the designs. Although I was involved, it always seemed because my partners felt like they had more experience, they would dictate a lot of things and I would fall back and let them do it. I definitely wouldn't do that again. That was probably my biggest mistake.
"I really want people to listen to this record with an open mind. It’s not gonna be Ruff Ryders. It's not gonna be my first record because that was a moment in time. This is who I am now."
You had your own show, Eve, on UPN. Was acting a scary experience at first?
At the time, when the TV show came into my life, it was needed. I was traveling a lot, I was doing music, I was all over the place. What I loved is the TV show gave me stability. I was able to be in one place for a long time. I moved to L.A. and was able to build a house and that was nice. And I loved my cast. We really became a real family. And we spent a lot of time together. All of that was great. It definitely taught me to be more comfortable in front of the camera. Looking back on it, I learned how to be a producer, how to bring a show together.
Did any moment from any of your movies or shows make you cringe at yourself?
Nah, I think I cringe in the sense that I’m like, “Oh my god, I can’t believe that's me.” Usually I’m pretty happy. I feel pretty lucky to be part of a movie.
What major advice would you give an up-and-coming artist?
The biggest thing I can say is to just be you. Be exactly who you are. Don't try to let anybody change you. There's a lot of testosterone in the game. Don't get influenced by who's trying to tell you to wear this. Guys try to dictate what you put on. And definitely hustle. It ain't nothing wrong with hustling. Dudes will definitely try you, but never base your success off how many dates or dinners or hanging out. Write, hustle, work hard.
Has it gotten better for female rappers since you came in?
Not really, only because there’s not that many out. I feel like it’s gotten harder ’cause I’m like, where are they? I guess it hasn't, which is messed up.
What’s your legacy in hip-hop? What are you proud of?
I’m proud of the fact that I was able to take risks, like doing the song with Gwen, and I definitely took fashion risks. I would like people to look back and be like, as a female MC I definitely hold the flag. Especially at that moment in time, I want people to look back and say I didn't just make good music, that I definitely touched people's lives. But I got so much more to do. That’s hard to say with the legacy because I’m not done. I'm not finished.
Can you talk about the thought process behind releasing “She Bad Bad” as the first single?
I wanted it to be different and kind of left, which it is. I knew immediately a lot of people weren't gonna like it. I got good and bad feedback. I knew radio stations wouldn't like it. It's a viral single, so it wasn't a big deal for us to try to get it on the radio. It’s a strong record. It’s an in your face record, and I knew the visual would help it. Once the video came out, it proves me right in the sense that we got a million views in five or six days. To me, that has to mean something. I can’t do what’s on the radio and I can’t be dictated by what people are used to. Because I’ve been away so long, if I don't do something different, why pay attention?
What will the new album bring to the table?
I really want people to listen to this record with an open mind. It’s not gonna be Ruff Ryders. It's not gonna be my first record because that was a moment in time. This is who I am now. I hope that lyrically, people will still be like, “Damn, that’s my girl Eve.” I'm a lyricist, I'm an MC, no matter what track I'm spitting over. Accept me for who I am now.
What's still misunderstood about Eve?
I feel like there’s a lot. People need to understand that ultimately, I’m still Eve from Philly. People might compare me to the first record and from Ruff Ryders and I think that's a big misunderstanding. They might hear new music or see new visuals and be like, “Where's the old shit?” Understand I'm still me, but we all have to evolve.