Rapper Eve fondly remembers her Ruff Ryders days as she was able to fully be herself while she was involved with the record label.
In a recent interview with HipHopDX, the rapper got candid about her music journey and explained how she would not have achieved her goals had she not been dropped by Dr. Dre from Aftermath Entertainment in 1998.
The rapper reminisced how lucky she was the Ruff Ryders never asked her to compromise on her values — even when it came to presenting her image. At the time when fellow rappers Lil Kim and Foxy Brown were showing off their overt sexuality, Ruff Ryders actually encouraged Eve to keep her clothes on.
I loved it, If anything, they were trying to cover me up, like literally. I would come to the studio and I’d have on my little ass crop top with some tight pants and I never wore sneakers, ever. I never wore sneakers. I always wore heels. And so they used to be like, ‘Can you put on a pair of Timbs and a vest.’ What the hell? It was nice though for them because it was nice for me because, like you said, they never ever tried to say like, ‘Be this person or be that person or this is selling, so you need to try to do this.’ It was always like, ‘Yo, come in here, come in the studio. Write those bars. Write a great record and we’re good.’ That’s it.”
Being Ruff Ryders’ first lady, Eve has always been about empowering women. Even in 2021, with misogyny still being quite prevalent not only in the rap industry but everywhere, Eve is hopeful at least there’s a cure to some of it with artists such as Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion and Nicki Minaj continuing to make waves in the industry,
“Some of these songs that come out, you’re like, ‘What the fuck?’ Some of these songs are so nuts,But I have to say, I love the strength and the beauty and the sexiness of being owned by those females who are coming out. They are now doing their own versions of being those bosses and owning their sexuality.
“And yeah, I’m sure for some people, it is a lot. I think there’s now — I won’t say a balance because it’s not balanced — but there is the answer to these guys who are out here doing these things. I think there are a lot of female rappers, women who are out that are like, ‘Oh, fuck you, I’m doing this. This is my stuff. This is me, this is mine.’ And I do love that.”
Eve is currently in Atlanta, working on her forthcoming ABC television show Queens with Naturi Naughton. Her Scorpion album was also recently digitally reissued in honor of its 20th anniversary.