From Philly to London, via China and... the kitchen?

Clash met hip-hop superstar Eve for its latest issue, available now (details). She’s back with her fourth album, ‘Lip Lock’, out now on her own From The Rib imprint. It’s her first album since 2002’s ‘Eve-Olution’.

Below is an excerpt from our interview. Read the full piece in issue 86 of Clash magazine, on shelves and available online now.

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Eve, ‘Eve’, from ‘Lip Lock’

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Eve Jihan Jeffers is famously referred to as a “pit bull in a skirt”. It’s an epithet that suited her just fine years ago, but doesn’t match up with the pristine megastar she is now.

At 19, with her platinum-blonde s-curl and instantly recognisable paw print tattoos, Eve was cute, particularly when she barked, “Let’s talk about who I am / Blonde bee, find me in the hood with my peoples,” on the first track of her debut, ‘Let There Be Eve... Ruff Ryders’ First Lady’.

But at 34, she’s full-on gorgeous. Manicured from head-to-stiletto heel with a silky-smooth finish, her presence emits the kind of perfection attributed to going ‘Hollywood’. “I’m a bossy, glossy mogul and worldwide my name is known,” she spits on her recent single, ‘Eve’.

The easiest icebreaker is, of course, to talk about the weather. It’s late April, and in contrast to London’s habitually murky skies, today’s golden sunrays and mild spring breeze, from the Philly-born MC’s view, is divine.

“Oh my God, it’s perfect,” she says wistfully. “I don’t want it to go away.” She lives here with her boyfriend, Gumball 3000 founder Maximillion Cooper, and life is good.

The music video for ‘Eve’ is a grainy portrayal of the artist’s return to rap after a 10-year hiatus, and features the east London landmark Boxpark, a pop-up mall minutes away from Shoreditch High Street. An American hip-hop chick in London, she’ll usually hang out on the über-cool east side.

“[This place] has inspired me for sure,” she says. “Anything you do, whether you write, paint, or make music, I tell people it’s easy to disappear here. It’s easier to go on a long walk somewhere and pop in some place.”

Sounds nice. But with all her artistic incarnations, she’s yet to venture into the hub of London’s real gritty music scene. “Brixton is actually a place I need to hang out more. I was telling someone that, too.”

Probably the best track on ‘Lip Lock’ is the Snoop Dogg-guesting ‘Mama In The Kitchen’. “That’s one of the first songs I recorded for ‘Lip Lock’,” she says. “It was perfect to start the album process with that record because it did feel like I was cooking something up.”

Produced by Swizz Beatz, the keyboard-heavy track brings a sense of nostalgia for her Ruff Ryder days: you can ride high, but you are where you came from.

“After Interscope, I went through a situation where I asked myself, ‘Do I really want to be doing this?’ But I’ve been to China now to perform, which is incredible. When people sing your songs on the other side of the world, that’s when I was like, ‘I want to put out another record. I’m ready to make some new music.’”

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Read this full interview in the current issue of Clash magazine, available here.

Words: Safra Ducreay

Photos: Bella Howard

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