Kiki de Montparnasse black bustier dress; Loree Rodkin ring and earrings.
“You’re like, ‘Hey, hey, hey’—the whole hook,” she promises with a smirk. “Anybody can sing it. It gets the crowd up easy.” There’s diversity to the album as well. “Kiss Myself” is more melodic; Akon-produced “Treasure” is the album’s ballad; and Eve’s favorite track, “Forgive Me,” has an old-school reggae vibe. The first single, “Superstar,” is still under wraps, however, as Eve hopes it will blow up on first listen.
The one constant is that Eve is sticking to what she’s good at, being an MC. She limits her singing to the occasional hook. “Singing is so different to me. No thank you, I don’t want to play myself—unless it’s karaoke, and then I belt it out,” she says. The cast and crew of her eponymous TV show used to go to a hole-in-the-wall karaoke bar every Thursday. “You have to be drunk to do karaoke, though,” she continues. “It’s one of those things … I need four or five before.” She says she usually starts out with “Sweet Dreams” by the Eurythmics before moving on to rock songs by the Sex Pistols and anything else outside her own genre.
While she likes her karaoke eclectic, she wants her own music to work as a unit. “For me, this record tells the complete story of the night of a girl,” Eve says. Her aim was to make an album a girl wants to listen to while getting ready to go out to the club. To make the assorted sounds feel cohesive, she limited herself to just a few producers instead of using a different producer for each track, like she has in the past.
Her personal life has hit a different note as well. Eve has been battered by a series of setbacks well documented in the media: the release of graphic photos of her taken during her brief stint as a stripper; a drunk driving conviction after crashing a gold Maserati; involvement with money laundering charges against her ex-boyfriend Teodorin Nguema Obiang, son of the president of Equatorial Guinea; tax evasion charges; and a sex tape release of her with ex-boyfriend and music producer Stevie J.
At one point, Eve and Stevie J had matching tattoos; his said “Sleazy” and hers said “Sleazy’s Girl.” Today, a peony, her favorite flower, covers hers up. But she isn’t cynical about love—or declaring it through tattoos. “I’m with a new man—I would absolutely do it,” she says. “I’m trying to keep this one.” She’s also contemplating leaving L.A., where she’s always isolated in her house or car, for New York. And perhaps soon, there’ll be a huge family full of kids. Until she was 12, Eve lived with a house full of extended family—mom, grandmother, brother, aunt, cousin. “I love being alone,” she says. “But I also miss noises. I miss the comfort of knowing someone’s downstairs, or the smells and sounds of people in the kitchen or living room.”
Whatever she desires, there’s no doubt she will get it. Standing in front of a work of graffiti that’s viewed more often than the Mona Lisa thanks to a spot on a busy New York City avenue, Eve looks completely at home. Like the graffiti, her music is a product of the hip-hop culture that rose up from the street. From humble beginnings to the Ruff Ryders, her own TV show, and solo albums, she’s reinvented herself many times over—she’s even guest starring with a plot arc on Glee and plans to be involved with VH1’s first-ever scripted reality show, Single Ladies.
With the next chapter of her music career and her life on the horizon, Eve contemplates her next tattoo. “It will probably be three little birds, which is my favorite Bob Marley song, with the words ‘Every little thing gonna be all right,’” she says with a nod. “And it makes me feel that way.”