Before co-hosting the daytime television talk show The Talk, Eve was known as one of the greatest female rappers of all time. Unfortunately, Dr. Dre did not commit to Eve’s potential when she was briefly signed to his label in the late 90s. In fact, he dropped her shortly after signing Eminem, leaving Eve without a label home.
Dr. Dre signs Eve; drops her for Eminem
Eve began rapping at age 12 and was part of various female hip hop groups during her teens in her hometown of Philadelphia. By high school, her battle rap skills were so intimidating that others.
By her own admission, battle rapping became her passion because she was able to prove to male rappers that she was just as good, or in many cases, she was better.
By 1998, she’d caught the attention of Dr. Dre. With a rap demo in tow, Dre became immediately impressed, signing Eve to his record label, Aftermath. Despite recording dozens of songs for her debut album with Dre, the process began to stall.
“I remember working with Dre, Eminem did get signed,” she recalls during the BET docuseries, Ruff Ryders Chronicles. To make sure she kept Dre’s attention on her, Eve went through drastic lengths.
“I would literally show up to studio sessions that I wasn’t supposed to be at where I knew Dre was going to be and be like, ‘So when am I recording? When are you going to put me in a song? What’s going on,’” she says. “I think he got sick of that, and then I got dropped eight months later.”
Eve’s career takes off as the First Lady of Ruff Ryders
Being let go from Dre’s label was both devastating and embarrassing for Eve. Luckily for her, other executives at Dre’s parent company, Interscope, never forgot about her talent.
“I know that Dre always believed in her, I always believed in her, and I was always looking for a spot for her that would make the record that she wanted to make,” says Jimmy Iovine, Dre’s longtime business partner.
It was Iovine who came up with the idea to pitch Eve to Ruff Ryders, DMX’s rap posse. But Eve had to prove herself again by battling all-male emcees in the crew. Her flow, in combination with her presence, was unlike something the crew had ever seen before. She was immediately signed, making her the first woman on the label.
Eve’s career took off. Her debut album is certified double platinum but the RIAA. In total, she had four studio albums and one Grammy.
Eve’s career outside of music
Eve began to grow unhappy with just rapping. The self-proclaimed “pitbull in a skirt” began considering other avenues and within entertainment. Her transition into acting expanded her profile, with dozens of film and television credits, including her own UPN sitcom that aired for three seasons.
At one point, she also had her own fashion line, Fetish. She currently is a co-host of the CBS daytime talk show, The Talk, which she joined in 2018.
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