(Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
During a recent interview with Time.com, Eve discussed the release of her long-delayed album, Lip Lock, her upcoming performance at the Essence Music Festival, and more. Read a couple of excerpts from the interview after the jump.
Do you have a release date yet for your new album, Lip Lock?
Not an exact date, but we’re wanting it to come out in the fall.
Now that it’s finished, how would you describe the album?
I wanted to really take what people loved of me and fell in love with in the beginning, with the Ruff Ryders and all of them, and combine it with where I am now. As far as my ear with music now, because I traveled so much, I think musically my ear has grown. And then lyrically obviously I think I’ve grown. Hopefully people will feel that. Hopefully my core audience won’t feel like I’ve left them behind. That was a big deal for me, to make them feel like they’re involved in my growth.
Were the delays frustrating?
Oh my god. I need another word for frustration. I’ve completely gone past frustration 100 times. It’s like with anything that you create—you just want to put out. Because it’s been so long for me, music has changed so much. It’s beyond frustration. I just really can’t wait till this record is out.
Were most of the delays on the production side?
No, it was delays on the label side—I’ve switched management, I’ve switched labels, I’ve switched lawyers. And this was over years. And now I feel like the dust has finally settled and the team that I have now is the right team. Sometimes that’s all it takes, for the stars to be aligned and the dust to settle. And I think we’re there now.
You were the first female rap artist to have an album enter Billboard 200 at No. 1. Do you feel like the climate has changed a lot for female rappers since then?
Definitely. I think in so many ways. Obviously within the last couple years there hasn’t been much of a female presence. Thankfully Nicki Minaj is there, and she kind of was holding the flag and now, within the last year or year and a half, there’s been a lot of young girls that are coming up, which is great. But it’s definitely changed. While there are other girls that are coming up, there’s only one female that is out there.
Is there anyone specifically, among that crowd, who you’re excited about?
I actually really like Azealia Banks. I like her style, I think she’s really cute, I think lyrically she’s really good and she’s really different. She’s probably at the top of my list. But then there’s a girl named Diamond who is from Atlanta who I really like, just as a person and an artist, I think she’s really cool.
If you could offer one of them some advice going forward, what would you tell them?
Wow. What would I tell them? I think they’re doing it, so far, the girls that I named. They’re keeping it original, which is always, for me, so important. Always be true to yourself and hold strong to who you are, what you are—and it seems like they are doing that.