Girl power filled New York City’s No. 8 this past Tuesday, April 30. With Soledad O’Brien at the helm, The XX Project launched its 2nd installment of “Salon Sessions” with rapper Eve. Incorporated this March as part of Women’s History Month, the interview series brings together a diverse group of women to discuss their careers and accomplishments. DJ Jasmine Solano, Gossip Game star Ms. Drama, and actress Natalie Dormer were spotted in the room as O’Brien grilled the rapper on her career.
“I love her authenticity—I think she’s just a good and kind person,” said Soledad about the raptress. “She loves her fans. She knows she’s inspirational. She treats her fans like they’re valuable. And she has an amazing story. And I think she knows that what she’s been through can help other people.”
The reporter happily offered advice for aspiring reporters and journalists before the interview. Like any other occupation, she believes having a mentor is an opportunity to be of service.
“I think the thing to do is find women who want to be mentors. You make yourself invaluable. Also, it’s not what person can I grab onto to get advice from, it’s how can I be of service so that I’m sharing information with someone. What can I do?”
Soledad—who considers Lupe Fiasco and Pharrell her favorite hip-hop artists—was mostly interested in Eve’s role as a woman in a male-dominated industry. The former Ruff Ryder spoke candidly about being pinned against other female rappers and her hope that they could some day all get along.
“I think it’s men more than women that try to push girls into each other. When I got to sit down and actually talk to some of these ladies, they’re actually pretty amazing. I think if all the craziness were pushed out the door and we had to sit and talk to each other, I don’t think there would be an issue at all.”
The two seemingly opposite women continued to talk about Eve’s ups and downs, including her bout with depression, her early days as a stripper (“I was definitely telling people I was a rapper…while wearing a G-string”) and wanting to naturally hide her emotions. “I’ve always had an attitude,” said Eve. “I’m a Philly girl. And Philly girls are crazy. I may leave you and go cry by myself. But in front of someone, I’m not going to show you anything.”
In conclusion, the biggest lesson learned is that all women can be an inspiration, no matter what their background may be.
“The people you think are the complete opposite [of you] are not. Everybody has dreams and hopes and wishes and wants to be successful. You can learn from anybody,” shared Soledad. “I never really interviewed a rapper before. Then I started doing my homework and you realize she’s a woman who’s a business professional, who’s upstanding and inspiring.”
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