It’s undeniable that the ladies of rap have been making some serious strides in the game in recent years. This summer alone has introduced us to a number of women carrying on the torch from their predecessors while also paving their own unique, distinct lanes. This year’s 2019 XXL Freshman class featured three of the many leading ladies staking their claim on the charts.
It’s a far cry from the '90s, when femcees where few and far between in the then-burgeoning and largely male-dominated hip-hop scene. Eve recently opened up to the Guardian about the isolation she felt during her come up as one of the few women making headway in the rap game at the time.
Ruff Ryders’ first lady candidly shared how camaraderie between female rappers was nonexistent, recounting how record companies tried to pit them against one another. Despite that, Eve didn’t let the behind-the-scenes politics get to her or ruin her relationships.
“Before I’d met anybody, I always thought of it as this sisterhood. I thought we were all gonna be friends. It was not like that,” she told the UK publication.
“There definitely weren’t a lot of females out there, and the labels were basically trying to make you get naked. I was in a bubble and it never felt like a competition. I loved Missy [Elliott] and Kim but I never wanted to be them.”
She further recounted fighting to be respected as an MC and be herself, revealing that she was unceremoniously dropped from Dr. Dre’s Aftermath label without an explanation eight months after the ink had dried on the contract papers, which led her to linking up with Ruff Ryders.
“But with Ruff Ryders, it was always: ‘We like who you are, we’re not going to try and change you.’”
She’s keeping that same energy with the release of her first album in six years. Although she is a little worried about how her project might be received, she’s not sweating the small details in her larger picture.
“I’m not as stressed about what people think any more – that’s a great feeling,” she reflected. “Whether it’s me talking to my past self, or to future girls, it’s saying: ‘You don’t need to deal with the b*lls**t. Keep it moving!’ You have that a-ha moment where you go: ‘You know what? F**k this shit!’”
(Photo: VALERIE MACON / AFP)