Before Eve hit the stage at Rock the Bells in San Bernardino this past Saturday at the tour’s kickoff, the rapper promised Rolling Stone she was there to make an impression. “If you weren’t my fan, I’m gonna make you a fan once I leave the stage,” she told us. “That, to me, is exciting.”
She performed a few new songs, including “She Bad Bad,” from her forthcoming Lip Lock album, her first since 2002’s Eve-Olution, which at the time was her third straight top 10 album. After a decade’s absence from recording, during which she focused on acting (including her own sitcom, Eve), she views this new album as a rejuvenation of her career.
"I’ve been telling people – and this is the truth – I almost feel like a new artist myself," she said. "I’m so excited about my new music. I love performing anyway, I feel comfortable on stage. It does feel like a rebirth."
She gave Rolling Stone a preview of some of the tracks and collaborators on Lip Lock, due next year. The album features Snoop Dogg on “Mama in the Kitchen,” a song produced by Swizz Beatz (“Obviously I had to have Swizz on there,” she said). And Cobra Starship’s Gabe Saporta appears on “Make It Out of This Town.”
"He sounds amazing on it," she said. "It’s a very positive record – everyone can relate to it. It’s just one of those records when you’re down and out and you feel like you can make it, God is with you. You have that plan – just keep your eye to the sky. It’s a very positive, uplifting record."
Another of her favorites is “Eve.” “It’s definitely left, it’s a different kind of record,” she said of the song that bears her name. “I remember that day clearly just because I was exhausted and I did not want to go to the studio. And as soon as the producer put the track on I was like, ‘Oh, this is fucking ridiculous, I have to write for this record.’ It’s like a punch in the face, but in a good way.”
The fact that Eve is doing two dates with Rock the Bells – her debut on the bill – is a sign of her comeback for fans. “Obviously Rock the Bells has been around for a long time and it’s a respected music festival to be on, so I definitely wanted to do it,” she said. “I felt like it was the perfect time to reach my core audience.”
On Saturday she performed both on her own and with longtime friend DMX, their first time onstage together in more than a decade, she guessed. For Eve, being around the mix of peers like Nas and newcomers like J. Cole was inspiring.
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