Her last album, Eve-Olution debuted in 2002 and peaked at number six on the billboard 200 album chart, thanks to some help from the likes of Alicia Keys.
For a while there, it appeared as though the fiery rapstress and Grammy-award winner had put more stock into her acting career, which included a starring role in her own television sitcom, “Eve,”as well as a recurring role in the wildly successful Barber Shop movies, among other films. But when the stage comes calling, real performers always answer.
Now more than a decade later, the woman once known as the “First Lady” of the Ruff Ryders hip-hop crew led by rapper DMX is back with her fourth album, Lip Lock, released last week (May 14) on her own record label, From The Rib.
“All of my decisions are tough right now, because it’s me,” she told Radio.com, adding that she now has the final word on everything from music videos to choosing her singles. “But I still have a huge support system. I have an amazing team of people. Not that I didn’t have that at Ruff Ryders, but there were extra hangers-on. I don’t have hangers-on like I used to. It is more of a businessnow. I love it, I think it’s fun. I definitely know a lot more information than I ever thought I should know!”
The new album, Lip Lock, feels very big. Was that intentional?
With this album, there were two things. One, lyrically, I definitely wanted people to recognize me. But then musically, I wanted it to be global, because I do travel a lot. I guess it is bigger it some sense. I just wanted a global sound.
How important were the lyrics on this album?
I’m a lyricist, first and foremost. It’s important for me to be recognized lyrically, for myself and my core audience. I want my audience to hear it and be like, “that’s my girl. That’s the girl I feel in love with!” It was important for me to do that for them.
How did collaborations with artists like Missy Elliott, Snoop Dogg, Dawn Richard and Gabe Saporta from Cobra Starship come about for this album?
The collaborations on this record kind of just happened. There was no premeditated collaboration. It’s like I made the record, and the record told me who to put on it. If we couldn’t get in touch with maybe one person (for a song), it just so happened that the person that wound up on it made it perfect.
For access to the entire interview, visit Radio.com.