Happy 20th Anniversary to Eve’s first album Let There Be Eve…Ruff Ryders’ First Lady. The album was released on September 14, 1999, and it sold 213,000 copies in the first week. The album went on to sell over 2 million copies and was certified double platinum by the RIAA. Her first single “What Ya Want” featuring Nokio of Dru Hill and produced by Swizz Beatz set the tone for her release. That was followed by the hit “Love Is Blind” with Faith Evans and “Gotta Man” sending Eve’s album to Number 1 on the Billboards. She became the third female emcee to accomplish this coming in behind Lauryn Hill, who did it in 1998 and Foxy Brown, who did it earlier in the year 1999. Every song on the album was written by Eve herself.
Eve made her first appearance on the Bulworth Soundtrack under the name Eve of Destruction while signed to Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment. With Dr. Dre getting ready to release his own album Eve did not get the promotion she needed. She went on to sign with Ruff Ryders and took off quickly. She collaborated with DMX for her first single under the label on a song featured on DJ Clue’s “The Professional.” Eve went on to appear on “Ryde or Die Vol 1” the Ruff Ryder’s compilation album, The Roots “Things Fall Apart”. She was on the groups single, “You Got Me.”
When she was finally got her chance to step out alone she held her own and quickly shot to the top. Her first single “What Ya Want” became a top 40 hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, peaking at 29. Two other singles were released from the album: “Gotta Man” peaked at number 26 on the Billboard Hot 100, and “Love Is Blind”, peaked at 34 on the Billboard Hot 100. In November 1999, Eve featured on Missy Elliot’s single “Hot Boys Remix.” The song became a hit, spending 18 weeks at number one on the Billboard from November 16, 1999, to March 7, 2000, and reaching number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Eve seemingly remained on the Billboards, the radio and on Tv. Eve became the inaugural winner of the Grammy Awards for Best Rap/Song Collaboration in 2002, for the song “Let Me Blow Ya Mind”, with singer Gwen Stefani. Eve was even named number 48 on VH1’s “50 Greatest Women of the Video Era” list. As an actress, Eve is known for her roles as Terri Jones in the films “Barbershop”, “Barbershop 2: Back in Business “ and “Barbershop: The Next Cut.” Eve also landed her own sitcom on UPN Network titled “Eve” where she played Shelly Williams. Eve is now one of the hosts of CBS Daytime show “The Talk.”
Eve continued her musical success with her second album “Scorpion” and the single “Who’s That Girl”, the song gave Eve her first international success. One of the record’s strengths, cited in several reviews, was Eve’s exploration of her singing voice in addition to her rapping skills. “I was a singer before I started rapping,” Eve said in a Ruff Ryders press release, “so on this album I wanted my audience to hear more of my vocal skills”. In 2001 Eve won the BET award for the Best Female Hip-Hop artist. Eve went on to release two more albums, “Eve-Olution in 2002 and “Lip Lock” in 2013.
Eve went on to be featured on billboard hit songs with the Late Michael Jackson, Alicia Keys, Louchie Lou and Michie One, Amerie, Keysha Cole, Teairra Marie, Maroon 5, Lil John and Ludacris. She also managed to have a successful acting career being featured in 16 films or documentary. Eve also broke into the fashion industry with her own clothing brand called “Fetish,” which was targeted towards female consumers of the urban demographic.
Eve was a trendsetter in so many ways and managed to stick out in the male-dominated hip hop scene. Eve became one of the greatest selling acts from Ruff Ryder, only coming second to DMX, someone she looked up to. She called herself the meanest pit bull in a skirt because she was fierce with her bars but was also a lady. Eve influenced a whole generation of women to come out about domestic violence after her single “Love is Blind” was released. That song was one of my favorites from Eve’s first album and it showed how vivid her rhymes could be. “Philly Philly” featuring Beanie Siegel showed both emcees holding it down for Philly, spitting dope bars. “Heaven Only Knows” is a touching song where Eve tells her life story. “We on That S**t” and “Dog Match” featuring DMX are songs that showcase Eve’s rhyming ability and flow.
I want to give Eve a huge salute on her first album Let There Be Eve…Ruff Ryders’ First Lady. This album was the introduction to an artist who went on to put out hit after hit. An overall great album from production, to concepts, to bars. Eve proved to me why she was the Ruff Ryders’, First Lady. She held her own with some of the dopest emcees of that era like the LOX, Drag-On, and DMX, and that was just in her own camp. Again Salute and Thank you for everything you did for the culture.