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Vixen Chat: Eve Talks Having Biracial Children, Lauryn Hill and Her Signature Haircut

The new album title may be Lip Lock, but Philly born rapper Eve is more open than ever. After a 10-year hiatus, the Philadelphia native is back on the music scene with a newfound independence. "I've been truly blessed in my life. This new album is coming out on my label," she shared last night (April 30) at The XX Project's "Salon Sessions" event in New York City. "I'm the boss. That to me is an accomplishment. To do this and to believe in myself enough to put a gamble on myself, is a huge accomplishment."

Before sitting down with good friend Soledad O'Brien to talk about her diverse career, the former Ruff Ryder was an open book. During her chat with Vixen, she talked about why being a lyricist in a pop-centric era is still important. "My whole goal for this album was just to make a good feeling album and a good sounding album. Lyrically, I want people to listen to it and be like, 'Damn, that's my girl,' but then be like, 'Damn, the sound of that record is different.'

Plans for starting a family with boyfriend Maximillion Cooper? Undying devotion to Lauryn Hill? A possible return to her signature haircut? Eve unlocks her lips just for us. -- Nicole Brown

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VIBE Vixen: You've been fairly open about your relationship in recent interviews. How do you decide what to share and what to keep to yourself?
Eve: It's pretty hard. You can get so comfortable with sharing that you don't even realize it, but at the same time, I feel like I've been really good at being private. We might write tweets like, "I love you baby. Thank you," but I don't really put out much personal information about us or what we're exactly doing. It's  or whatever, but never anything too personal.

Multi-ethnic families are common in Hollywood. Kim Kardashian recently talked about raising her biracial child to never see color. Also, Halle Berry said that she believes in the "one drop rule." If you and Max have children, what will you teach them about race and their identity?
I don't want them to see color. I never did. I grew up in the hood and my mother was very good at it not being a black thing, even though I grew up around all black people. I want them to want to know everything about all kinds of races. I'm a black woman and I love being a black woman. And I think my child should know that black part of themselves. But at the same time, their father would be white and I would want them to know that side of themselves. And British! That's a whole other situation [Laughs].

As the only female in a rap crew, do you think that helped or hindered your confidence as a woman?
If anything, I probably overcompensated as a woman. With dudes, you have to snatch the respect. You earn it, gain it, snatch it. I also was adopted compared to everyone else. They're from Harlem and Yonkers and here's this girl from Philly, so I had to prove that I could write like them or better than them. I had to prove that I wasn't a groupie. I did whatever I could to gain that respect and let them know I didn't need them to carry me.

 

Eve and Soledad O'Brien VV: You've also talked about getting back to acting. What kind of role would you like to tackle next?
E: For TV, I would love to one of those borderline comedies that's so wrong but so funny. I want something like that. And then for movies, I want something where I have to strip myself down. Something I really have to study for, whether it's learning a language or an accent or something. I want to challenge myself.

Your style is constantly evolving. Will you ever go back to the short cut we all know you for?
You know what? Honestly, to my friend today, this morning,  I was like, "Girl, I think I'm about to cut my hair off." Like, I'm feeling it! But I don't want to go back to retro me [Laughs].

Maybe an updated version?
An updated version. I honestly have thought about it. I love hair.

Would you say that's your favorite part about styling yourself?
Yes. It's fun! It's an accessory. It's like putting on a bracelet or a ring. My boyfriend teases me. We've been together three years, and in every vacation picture, I have different hair. I can't help it.

Would you say you're a girly girl?
Oh, I'm a girly girl, but I'm like a schizophrenic because I love my sweatpants, too. That's the first thing I do when I go to a hotel or when I come home. I put on something comfortable.

You're in the hot seat for "Salon Sessions," but if you were sitting in the audience, who is someone you would like to watch get interviewed?
Lauryn Hill. She's such an inspiration still. I know she's going through a lot, but I'm really happy that she's signed a new deal with Sony. I'm happy to hear music from her. She's one of the greatest, and it's great that she's like, fuck it, I am who I am and I'm not gonna be who you want me to be.

Lip Lock hits stores on May 14.

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VIBE Vixen's Boss Talk Podcast: Meet Peppermint, The Boss Using Her Gifts For Good

VIBE Vixen's Boss Talk podcast amplifies the voices of women and she/her-identifying individuals in their respective industries as they discuss their journeys toward becoming the bosses we know today. From their demeanor and confidence and persevering through life’s pitfalls to make a name for themselves in their own way, being a boss is much more than 'just running sh*t.'

Miss Peppermint started as a staple in the New York nightlife scene, and after appearing as a contestant on the ninth season of RuPaul's Drag Race, she’s continued to make a name for herself.

Outside of the show, she's traveled the world and is hoping to release her third album, which she hints will be influenced by the '90s, R&B, and neo-soul. She's also planning on re-releasing her debut album, Hardcore Glamour, for its 10-year anniversary.

"I'll be doing a lot in New York this year for World Pride," she explains to Boss Talk's host, J'na Jefferson. Pride takes place throughout June. "The last album I dropped was 2017... I'm excited about that, I'm writing it now. It's just poems, but I'm excited."

Peppermint, who was the first openly transgender contestant on the Emmy Award-winning show, was also the first transgender woman to originate a principal role on Broadway for her role as Pythio in Head Over Heels. 

 

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"On paper, it shouldn't make sense... it's hard to explain what it is," she says of the musical, which combined a loose adaptation of 16th-century piece The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia with the music of the new wave group, The Go-Go's. It closed in late-2018.

"The better way to explain it now that it's over and closed is 'a revolutionary show about dismantling the patriarchy...'" she says about Head Over Heels. "I knew that they wanted to cast a trans actor... I wanted to put as much as I could into it, and try to do our non-binary siblings well and proud... [the show] became something I really believed in."

Peppermint continues to share her love of performing all over the world and is also an activist, who aims to promote the importance of LGBTQIA representation and advancement. She has worked and supported organizations such as The Point Foundation, which aims to help LGBTQIA students attend college. 

"People are just starting to catch on that having queer voices is essential and inevitable," she says of further representation of LGBTQIA individuals in media and entertainment. She praises Pose creator Ryan Murphy for showcasing trans people of color both in front of the camera and behind-the-scenes.

"Giving [trans people] the power to speak for themselves, rather than slapping the community with stereotypes or archetypes... we're past that," she continues. "We're not in the phase where they're feeling comfortable to be who they are, but I think we're getting close."

Listen to the full episode below.

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Kush & Splendor: 5 CBD Beauty Products That’ll Take Your Self-Care Routine From 0 To 100

Lotions, creams, and salves—oh my! With cannabidiol (CBD) popping up in just about every product you can imagine, the cannabis-infused beauty industry is clearly on the come-up. In fact, analysts predict that the “wellness” movement—as well as the legalization of Mary Jane across the world—will help rake in $25 billion globally in the next 10 years, according to Business Insider. That’s 15 percent of the $167 billion skincare market.

And what better way to up the ante on one’s wellness routine than with all-natural CBD? Just ask Dr. Lana Butner, naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist at NYC’s Modrn Sanctuary, who incorporates CBD in her treatments.

“CBD is a fantastic addition to acupuncture sessions for both its relaxation and anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving effects,” Butner shares with Vixen. “The calming effects of CBD allows for patients to deeply relax into the treatment and really tap into the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for rest, digestion and muscle repair/regeneration.”

She adds that CBD’s pain-relieving effects are “far-reaching,” from muscular and joint pains to migraines and arthritis—and even IBS and indigestion.

The magic lies in CBD’s ability to impact endocannabinoid receptor activity in our bodies. Without getting too wordy, our bodies come equipped with a system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is the HBIC over our sleep, appetite, pain and immune system response. Also known as cannabidiol, CBD teams up with this system to help reduce inflammation and interact with neurotransmitters. According to Healthline, CBD has also been scientifically shown to impact the brain’s receptors for serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for regulating our mood and social behavior.

All that said, it’s important to note that not all CBD products are created equal. Many brands cashing in on the green beauty wave use hemp seed oil, sometimes referred to as cannabis sativa seed oil, in place of CBD... which doesn’t make them any less great! Hemp seed oil is actually high in antioxidants, amino acids, and omega-3 and -6 fatty acids—all of which are thebomb.com for your skin.

“It’s generally viewed as a superfood and is great for adding nutritional value to your diet,” Ashley Lewis, co-founder of Fleur Marché, told Well and Good last month. “In terms of skin care, it’s known as a powerful moisturizer and skin softener that doesn’t clog pores or contribute to oily skin.”

However, when companies start marketing CBD and hemp oil as one-in-the-same, that’s when things get a bit tricky.

“The biggest issue is that hemp seed oil and CBD are two totally different compounds that come from different parts of the hemp plant, have different makeups, and different benefits,” Lewis added. “Marketing them as the same thing just isn’t accurate and does a disservice to consumers who are expecting certain benefits that they won’t get from hemp seed oil and who are often paying more for what they think is CBD.”

So if you’re looking to benefit from the perks specifically attributed to CBD, make sure you’re reading labels before buying, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Hell, ask for a product’s test results, while you’re at it. It never hurts to be sure.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, are you ready to see what all the hype is about? For this 4/20, we rounded up a few CBD (and hemp!)-infused products to help give your self-care routine a bit of a boost. Looks like your holiday just got that much kushier. You’re welcome!

Note: Data and regulations surrounding CBD and its use are still in development. That said, please don’t take anything written in this post as medical or legal advice, and definitely double check the laws in your state. Also, please do your body a favor and hit up your doctor before trying any new supplements. We’re just tryna look out for you. Okay? Okay. Read on.

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Vivica A. Fox Explains Past Hesitance Behind 'Two Can Play That Game' Script

In a new interview with Essence, actress Vivica A. Fox discussed how she initially turned down her role in Two Can Play That Game based on the script. The established entertainer said it's her mission to ensure that black people are positively portrayed onscreen, and noticed the aforementioned film's prose didn't live up to those standards.

"I think the reason why—no I know the reason why—I've been doing this for such a long time is that I fight," Fox said. "When we did Two Can Play That Game, I fought for the way we talked, walked, the way we loved each other." The Set It Off actress continued to state that she consistently declined Two Can Play That Game before signing on to play the lead role. "Because the script, when I first got it, I turned it down three times because it just wasn't a good representation of African-Americans, so I fought them on everything," she noted. "I want to make sure that the images of African-Americans are as positive and as true as they can possibly be."

In 2001, the romantic comedy debuted to fanfare, boasting an all-star cast of Morris Chestnut, Mo'Nique, Anthony Anderson, Bobby Brown, Gabrielle Union, Wendy Raquel Robinson, and more. Directed by Mark Brown (Barbershop, Iverson, How To Be A Player), Fox plays a career driven person named Shante Smith who navigates a curveball when her boyfriend Keith Fenton (Chestnut) cheats on her with a co-worker.

After its release, Two Can Play That Game raked in over $22 million at the box office.

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