Eve Jihan Jeffers-Cooper (born November 10, 1978) is an American rapper and actress from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is also the inaugural winner of the Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration in 2002, for the song „Let Me Blow Ya Mind“, with American singer Gwen Stefani. Eve was 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, as well as Shelley Williams on the UPN television sitcom Eve. She has also achieved success in fashion, with her clothing line, Fetish.
Eve was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Julie Wilch, a publishing company supervisor, and Jerry Jeffers, a chemical plant supervisor. She adopted the name Gangsta in high school as part of an all-female group called EDGP (pronounced „Egypt“)
During her early years in Philadelphia, she was educated at Martin Luther King High School. Eve’s first musical interest was singing. She sang in many choirs and even formed an all-female singing group (Dope Girl Posse or D.G.P.) with a manager. This group covered songs from En Vogue and Color Me Badd. The group’s manager suggested that the group should rap after seeing ABC, and Eve stuck with it. She then went on to form a rapping group. After the group split, Eve began working on a solo career under the name „Eve of Destruction.“ Eve has lived in Los Angeles, New York City, and most recently has resided in London.
In 1999, she was featured on Prince’s album Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic, and she was to co-star on the eventually cancelled Hot Wit‘ U single from that same album. Eve is featured (along with Erykah Badu) on the song „You Got Me“ by The Roots, from their 1999 album Things Fall Apart. The song won a Grammy Award in 2000, which should have been Eve’s first. She stated on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon in 2009 that she did not receive a Grammy for the track. Questlove, from The Roots, had brought his Grammy to the show that night and showed she’s not even credited on the award plaque. She also provided background vocals on the song „Ain’t Sayin‘ Nothin‘ New“ from the same album. In the album’s liner notes, she is referred to as Eve of Destruction.
Eve first appeared on the Bulworth soundtrack as Eve of Destruction while signed to Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment. She did not receive much promotion with big releases soon coming from Dr. Dre, so she collaborated with DMX and the Ruff Ryders on her first single as a Ruff Ryder DJ Clue?’s The Professional, along with other Ruff Ryders‘ compilations. In between those releases, Eve guest appears on The Roots fourth album Things Fall Apart with the single „You Got Me“; although she did not appear in the video Her next single, „What Ya Want“, featuring Nokio the N-Tity of Dru Hill, became a top 40 hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 peaking at 29. Her 1999 debut, Let There Be Eve…Ruff Ryders‘ First Lady, was an unprecedented success, making it the third album by a female rap artist to top the Billboard 200, behind Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998) and Foxy Brown’s Chyna Doll (1999). Two singles were released from the album: „Gotta Man“ and „Love Is Blind“ featuring Faith Evans. The first one peaked at number 26 on the Billboard Hot 100, the second one at number 34. In November 1999, Eve featured on Missy Elliott’s single „Hot Boyz (Remix)“ along with Nas, Lil Mo and Q-Tip. The song became a hit, spending 18 weeks at number one on the Hot Rap Singles from November 16, 1999 to March 7, 2000, and reaching number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 .
The follow-up to Ruff Ryders‘ First Lady, Scorpion, was released in 2001. Its first single, „Who’s That Girl“ guaranteed the rapper first international success. The second single, „Let Me Blow Ya Mind“ (with Gwen Stefani of No Doubt and produced by Dr. Dre co-written by then-boyfriend Stevie J.), became a pop success, peaking at number two on the Billboard Hot 100. The song won a Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, and Eve eventually went platinum. 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“.
Eve’s third album, Eve-Olution, was released in summer 2002 (see 2002 in music) and peaked at number six on the Billboard 200. In the meantime, the album’s first single, „Gangsta Lovin'“, with Alicia Keys, became another number two hit. The second and final single, „Satisfaction“, only saw moderate success again. Eve-Olution went gold, selling 720,000 copies total in the U.S.. Eve also appeared on the remixed version of Michael Jackson’s „Butterflies“. She also launched a clothing line in the fall of 2003 titled Fetish, which were targeted towards female consumers of the Urban demographic. The line lasted six years.
In 2005, the rapper appeared on Gwen Stefani’s cover version of Louchie Lou & Michie One song „Rich Girl“, which peaked at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 in March. The same year, she appeared on the official remix of Amerie’s number one U.S. R&B hit, „1 Thing“ (featured on the Hitch soundtrack). Eve also was featured in Keyshia Cole’s single „Never“ on the Barbershop 2: Back in Business soundtrack and Cole’s debut album The Way It Is, along with the official remix for Teairra Mari’s second single, „No Daddy“. In 2007, she appeared on Kelly Rowland’s single „Like This“. The Punk Cabaret band One On None covered Eve’s 1999 song „Love Is Blind“. In July 2007, Eve made a guest appearance on Maroon 5’s second single Wake Up Call on Live @ 45th at Night, it is unknown if this will be an official remix or if it will even be recorded. In late 2008, she sang the song „Set It On Fire“, which was featured on the credits for the movie Transporter 3 and is available on the Transporter 3 soundtrack. In April 2009, Eve featured along with Lil Jon on the song „Patron Tequila“, the debut single of girl group Paradiso Girls.
In March 2010, Eve featured on the official remix of Ludacris‘ song „My Chick Bad“, Diamond and Trina are also featured in the song. The three female rappers starred in the video for the remix, in which Nicki Minaj also appears. In November 2010, Eve wrote and performed a rap on Australian singer Guy Sebastian’s single „Who’s That Girl“, which reached number one on the ARIA Singles Chart and has been certified 4x platinum sold. In December 2010, Eve featured on Alicia Keys‘ track „Speechless“, though the song will not be released as a single or part of an album, it did chart on the US R&B chart at number 71, making it Eve’s first appearance as a featured artist on the Billboard Charts for quite some time. On December 10, 2010 Eve hosted the 2010 edition of MTV Africa Music Awards in Lagos, Nigeria.
In March 2011, Eve featured on Swizz Beatz‘ song and video „Everyday (Coolin‘)“, the first promotional single from his upcoming album Haute Living. In April 2011, Eve featured on Jill Scott’s song „Shame“ from Scott’s Billboard 200 number one album The Light of the Sun. The same month, Eve featured on Russian rapper Timati’s new single and video „Money In Da Bank“. Eve also featured in „Get Em“, a song by electro house artist Wolfgang Gartner. In April 2012, Eve featured on reggae artist Shaggy’s single „Girls Just Wanna Have Fun“. The song samples the 1979 hit single by Cyndi Lauper. Eve appeared on the video of the song, released on YouTube on June 14, 2012. The song charted in some European countries.
In 2007, Eve began work on a new album titled Here I Am. In May 2007, XXL magazine profiled six recorded tracks from Here I Am. Five of them were produced by Swizz Beatz, including singles „Tambourine“ and „Give It to You“ (featuring Sean Paul). Pharrell Williams produced the song „All Night Long“, in which Eve sings rather than raps. XXL published a review of the original Here I Am in July, rating it an L in its „clothing size“ rating system ranging from S to XXL. However the album ran into a series of delays due to corporate change at the record label and discontent with the lackluster success of the first and second singles, „Tambourine“, released in April 2007, and „Give It to You“ (featuring Sean Paul), released during the summer.
The project was delayed to September 11, 2007 and then October 16, but it was never released. Problems at her label, Interscope Records, were responsible for the multiple delays. Although, being renamed twice from „Here I Am“ to „Flirt“ to „Lip Lock“. After Eve left Interscope and signed with EMI, Lip Lock was expected to be released during 2011, but it was again delayed. In 2012, Eve decided to release the album as an independent artist, and stated that there will be several buzz singles before the official single and said the album will have ‚hard street stuff‘, ‚radio singles‘ and stuff to listen to ‚when you’re feeling down‘. In an interview on Billboard.com Eve said: „One of the biggest things that I wanted to do on this album was make people realize why they fell in love with me in the first place and then take them on a journey to where I am now musically. My ear is different but I think people will recognize me. I think you’ll hear that I’m in a happy place. I miss my music. My hunger is different than the first time around“. The album Lip Lock was released under Eve’s own label From The Rib Music on May 14, 2013, it was distributed through Sony/RED.
On October 9, 2012 Eve released the promotional single „She Bad Bad“ on iTunes. On November 2012, Eve started on YouTube a series of weekly remixes called EVEstlin‘ Tuesdays, in which she added freestyle rap verses on 2012 hit singles like Rihanna’s „Diamonds“ and Miguel’s „Adorn“. On 8 January 2013 the video of „She Bad Bad“ was premiered. On January 23, Eve released an official remix of „She Bad Bad“ featuring Juicy J and Pusha T. On February 23, 2013 Eve released „Make It Out This Town“, the first official single from Lip Lock featuring Gabe Saporta of Cobra Starship. The music video of the song premiered on VEVO on March 29, 2013. In an interview on Rap-Up TV, Eve confirmed that the second official single would be the track „EVE“ featuring Jamaican reggae artist Miss Kitty. The music video for the song was shot in London in February and premiered on BET on April 29, 2013. „Lip Lock“ was released on May 14, 2013. The album features collaborations with Juicy J, Dawn Richards, Claude Kelly, Pusha T, Chrisette Michele, Nacho, Gabe Saporta, Propaine, Missy Elliott, and Snoop Dogg.On August 23, 2013 Eve kicked off the Lip Lock Tour, a U.S. only promotional tour. In September 2013, Eve stated in an interview with Rap Up that after her tour wraps up in NYC, she’s going back into the studio.
In June 2014, it was announced that Eve would make a guest appearance on the Oxygen docu-series Sisterhood of Hip Hop.
In April 2016, it was announced that Eve would join Gwen Stefani on her This Is What the Truth Feels Like Tour.
Eve appeared in XXX with Vin Diesel, both Barbershop and Barbershop 2: Back in Business with Ice Cube, The Cookout with Queen Latifah and Meagan Good, and The Woodsman with Kevin Bacon in mid 2004. She voiced Major Jones in the video game XIII, as well as one of the villains of the short-lived show Spider-Man Animated Series on MTV. She also featured in the 2008 British movie Flashbacks of a Fool alongside Daniel Craig.
In 2003, Eve starred in the UPN television sitcom, Eve, as a fashion designer named Shelly. The show lasted three seasons until it was cancelled in May 2006. Eve guest starred as Yvette Powell on an episode of Third Watch. She also was a guest star on an episode of Numb3rs in 2009.
In 2009, she had a role in the film Whip It as Rosa Sparks, opposite Ellen Page and Drew Barrymore.
Eve guest starred on two episodes of Glee, appearing as rival glee club coach Grace Hitchens.
In 2010, Eve appeared as Latisha, a supporting role, in Noel Clarke’s film 188.8.131.52.
Eve appears as Mocha Sujata the Gypsy Queen in the 2013 film Bounty Killer, starring Matthew Marsden and Christian Pitre. The film was directed by Henry Saine.
Eve will be in the horror film Animal, which was filmed in Manchester, Connecticut and is currently in post-production. Produced by Drew Barrymore, the film co-stars Elizabeth Gilles and Keke Palmer, and is scheduled for a limited release in 2014.
In July 2014, it was announced that Eve would be starring alongside fellow entertainer Jill Scott as well as actress Regina Hall in a Lifetime movie about three women who become determined to get married in a year’s time after the group’s fourth member ties the knot.
In 2012, Eve, Mike Lynn and Dr. Dre, Ruff Ryders Entertainment, Interscope Records, and Truth Hurts were accused of stealing songs from Gregory Hutchinson p/k/a Cold 187um of Above The Law. The plaintiffs claim the 1999 song „Love is Blind“ was stripped of some of its original components and presented as their own work.
Eve divides her time between London, Los Angeles and New York. She began dating British entrepreneur Maximillion Cooper in 2010. They became engaged on December 25, 2013. On June 14, 2014, Eve and Maximillion Cooper wed in Ibiza, Spain. Eve has four stepchildren.
In 1999, a dispute between Eve and New York City-based rapper Foxy Brown, began to build up in the midst of Brown’s alleged affair with Eve’s former mentor DMX. Additional tensions surfaced when Eve „subliminally dissed“ Foxy Brown and Lil‘ Kim on her records „Let Me Blow Ya Mind“ (2001) and „Double R What“ (2002), where she criticized the two for having ghostwriters and further solidified that she „writes [her] own songs“. In December 2002, Foxy Brown responded to the disses via her unreleased record „Get Off Me“, in which she compared Eve to a yorkie terrier, dubbed her a „jealous bum bitch“ and criticized her Alicia Keys-assisted single „Gangsta Lovin'“. That same year, Brown reportedly disapproved of Eve and former friend Charli Baltimore’s „Philly’s Finest“, a remake of Jay-Z and Notorious B.I.G.’s „Brooklyn’s Finest“, in which she felt the two Philly-bred female rappers were „disrespectful“. Brown also stated that when she and Lil‘ Kim debuted on the music scene, „everybody all of a sudden wanted a female in their crew“, adding that Eve wasn’t doing that for DMX and Ruff Ryders, simply because it was „just not believable.“
In December 2002, during her interview with Miss Jones, Eve responded to Brown’s diss record („Get Off Me“), stating that she was glad she could be „an inspiration“ for Brown’s ghostwriter. Eve also revealed that she had known Brown since 1997 and dubbed her a „wankster“ and a „miserable jealous bitch“. Eve lastly added, „Ain’t my fault [Foxy] been out since ’96 & her bank account look the same. Do you ma. You look weak. Do you.“ In April 2003, during her interview with Wendy Williams, Foxy Brown revealed that she hated Eve and cited her as the prime reason why she broke up with Kurupt because Eve „snitched“ about the alleged affair between her and DMX. Brown later made derogatory comments about Eve throughout the interview, calling the rapper a „poorly dressed nappy headed blond chick“. Brown also added that she was „sick and tired“ of Eve subliminally dissing her and Lil‘ Kim on records because she and Kim „changed the game of hip-hop for female rappers.“ In September 2003, Eve dissed Brown on a record titled „We’re Back“ from former mentor DMX’s album, Grand Champ.