Eve Jihan Jeffers was born in 1979, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her childhood was not an easy one; her teenage parents were separated when she was 12, and her mother and grandmother raised her. When Eve was 14, she welcomed a new stepbrother to the family after her mother's remarriage.
Although surrounded by trouble among her peers, Eve was always one to use her creativity positively. Even in the third grade, she was writing poetry and short stories as a student, and earning merit awards for her work.
eve in egypt
Eve displayed a talent for emceeing as a teenager, and under the name "gangsta," she was rapping as part of a rap group, EDGP (pronounced "Egypt"). The group broke up not long after only a few performances, which prompted Eve to go her own way and take her emcee and rap skills to local talent shows and clubs. Naming herself "Eve of Destruction," Eve was paving the road to success and conquering the rap scene in Philadelphia -- a difficult feat for a female.
Although Eve had talent and was creative, she was still a delinquent while in school, but she didn't let that stop her from graduating. She used her work as an outlet for all the negatives in her life, which is evident in her released albums.
This is not to say that she was a "good girl" -- far from it. Her mother's remarriage left Eve bitter, and she felt the need to escape, so she headed out to a strip club in the New York Bronx, where she had a brief stint as a strip dancer. Using the names Mystique, Cinnamon and Ginger, Eve was racking in the cash, and was keeping it a secret from her mother. Never happy or proud about her newfound career, she decided to give it up and give rapping a real try, after a conversation with Ma$e.
She finally got her break with the help of her friends, who tricked Aftermath Records' producer Dr. Dre into listening to her audition. They arranged a meeting with him, but Dre never knew Eve was coming to sing. When she showed up, they popped in a tape and Eve started rapping. Nevertheless, surprised or not, Dr. Dre liked what he saw, called her the next day, and invited her to come to California where they would record her demo.
on the eve of success
Together they cut a three-song demo, which included "Eve of Destruction" (which ended up on the Bulworth soundtrack. Eve was signed to a one-year contract with Aftermath, but since it was still in its growth, her contract expired before she got started on her album.
Eve headed back to Philly (after having befriended DMX), and began hanging out with the Ruff Ryders' crew. After Eve rapped against emcees such as Drag-On and Infa Red, and made an impression, she was asked to sign with Ruff Ryders Records.
Her debut album, Eve: Ruff Ryder's First Lady, was released in September 1999, and hit number one on Billboard's Top 200 the moment it was released. Guest appearances by fellow Ruff Ryder DMX and Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliot, and the success of the single "Gotta Man," added to the immense success of the album, with almost 2 million copies sold.
For those that didn't hear Ruff Ryder's First Lady, they may have heard her contribution to the Roots' "You Got Me"; Ryde or Die, the Ruff Ryders compilation album; and "Girlfriend/Boyfriend" by Blackstreet.
rap like a ryder, sting like a scorpion
She returned in March 2001 with her sophomore album, Scorpion. Being a Scorpio herself, the album title is fitting as it connotes strong femininity. Assertive and stylistic, the album packs quite a punch with its raw emotion, as most songs are tinged with Eve's past experiences.
Thanks primarily to Eve's voice and songwriting, and appearances and production contributions by Dr. Dre, the LOX, her boyfriend Stevie J., and Stephen and Damian Marley, Scorpion has been hailed as brilliant.
The first single off the album, "Who's That Girl," was a preview of Scorpion's edge, while "Let Me Blow Ya Mind" (featuring Gwen Stefani) doesn't let you rest for a minute, forcing you to shake that body.
Her strong, sexy character would explain her stint in Sprite's Deadly Venom ad campaign, freestyling and doing karate.
Younger than 25, Eve is the epitome of what rap is today, giving Lil' Kim and Foxy Brown a run for their money -- she'd rather rap about her experiences than sleeping with a man for a Benz and Versace. She's not materialistic, but she loves her permanent body art -- her tattoos, which include dog paws, a scorpion and an apple with 2 Chinese symbols that say "strong female" on her lower back, and a big flower on her right shoulder.
Eve is currently dating R&B singer Stevie J.