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Eve Evolves into Superstar

Third solo set sandwiched between feature film roles

Eve’s upcoming third solo album, Eve-olution, showcases
her sense of pop timing and delivery even more than the 2001
blockbuster Scorpion did. The album’s first single,
“Gangsta Lovin’,” is another infectiously upbeat, eminently
danceable track sculpted by just the right studio architect (Irv
Gotti) and featuring the female guest star of the moment: Alicia
Keys, who ably fills the role most memorably played by Gwen Stefani
in last year’s Dr. Dre-produced “Let Me Blow Ya Mind.”

“I’m thrilled with it,” Eve says of the track, which has held
down a spot near the top of the singles charts for most of the
summer. “From the first time I ever saw Alicia at a pre-Grammy
party like a year and a half ago I knew that when she came out she
was going to be huge,” she says. “I wanted to do something with her
all along, and then I got this track and I just thought, ‘Who
better to do it than her?'”

Eve-olution, due out August 27th, also falls almost
exactly between the Philadelphia-born rapper’s first two jobs on
the silver screen — the first a small part as Vin Diesel’s
business partner in XXX, and the next a star turn in
Barbershop, which opens September 13th and also stars Ice
Cube. “It just kind of happened,” she says, brushing off the
serendipitous timing and what must have been a maniacally busy
winter and spring. “I didn’t even know anything about XXX
at all, they just happened to call at the right time. Then after
that I took two months to do Barbershop and then went
right to work on the album.”

Along with Gotti, some of the other biggest names in hip-hop
production — Dre and Swizz Beatz — cut tracks for the set, as
they did for Scorpion, and Snoop, Nate Dogg and Truth
Hurts also guest. “I like being familiar with people and knowing
their methods,” she says, “because it’s more comfortable when
you’re in the studio. But I did work with a lot of new people on
this record. Two guys from Philly and a couple guys from Watts
projects my brother introduced me to that just had some hot
music.”

But hot music is only part of the secret to Eve’s success. The
rest is drive, and genuine enthusiasm for the work, even the
tedious parts. “If you were with me today, you probably would have
thought I was crazy to do all this,” she says. “But a vacation? I
won’t be able to take a vacation until December. I want to do both
movies and music. I could never say to myself, ‘Yes, now I’m a
movie star!’ I love doing both, and whichever eventually calls me
I’ll do. But until then I don’t plan on giving anything up. I’m
just having a blast.”

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