Eve – Lip Lock album review

After years of management disputes, record label issues, underperforming singles and shelved projects, Eve returns with her much delayed yet highly anticipated fourth LP. Widely considered to be among the best female emcees of the 90’s, the former first lady of Ruff Ryders’ new offering feels more like a pucker than the relentless, ferocious bite synonymous with her feisty pitbull in a skirt persona. In a music industry congested with mainstream, commercial and pop fluff, Lip Lock had the potential to bring the female rap genre back to it’s hardcore, gritty roots. Instead, we’re left with a solid, though uneven, crossover Pop/Rap album by a veteran that’s evidently struggling to find her voice.

Released on Eve’s independent label, From The Rib Music, Lip Lock boasts a wide range of appearances from the likes of Snoop Dogg, Missy Elliott, Claude Kelly, Chrisette Michelle and Pusha T. Eve has never been afraid of taking risks by dabbling with other styles of music and effectively combining her aggressiveness with perfectly assembled bits of melodic pop productions that have commonly resulted in pure magic (a la her 2001 single “Let Me Blow Your Mind). Though the 12 tracks on Lip Lock see Eve switching back and forth between different genres, the results are mixed at best. New single “Make It Out This Town” featuring Cobra Starship member Gabe Saporta, sounds like a cut straight out of Flo Rida’s catalogue, while the irresistible Nicki Minaj inspired dance tune “Keep Me From You (feat. Dawn Richard)” though well produced, suffers from lackluster and elementary lyrics. Some of the motivational songs on the album (“Never Gone”), while not bad, are disappointing, especially when compared to her previous work (“Love is Blind”). Therein lies the problem with this album; she’s done all of this before, much better. One can’t help but be underwhelmed especially when you take into account the 11 year gap between this and her last album, Eve-Olution.

Her identity crisis doesn’t plague the entire album. The album opener, aptly titled “Eve (feat. Miss Kitty)” is reckless, wrath-filled Eve at her best, boasting about her sitting on her throne and her untouchable status — “Ain’t no guessing it’s E-V-E / I’m the chick that they wish they’d be / Know by now, do not f-ck with me / Stay on top, no touching me.” The braggadocio effectively continues on buzz single “She Bad Bad” as she taunts, “Blow ’em out the fucking water / Kill ‘em dead, called a slaughter / Ain’t my fault, I had it built up / Had to get it out my system / Now I’m back, forget about them other chicks, man, you won’t miss ‘em.” Another highlight is the Snoop Dogg assisted “Mama in the Kitchen,” mostly in part to it’s infectious chorus and superb production.

Eve excels when she sticks to what she does best; unleashing her inner prowess, passion and conviction. Though the album wasn’t worth the 11 year wait, it has the potential to perform well over time if the right singles are released. At the very least, she must be applauded for her undying determination to release this project, independently. While her genre hopping didn’t always work in her favor here, the album is an overall, solid effort by an incredibly talented female emcee.

Press Releases

EVE – Make It Out This Town video premiere date

“Make It Out This Town” Video Teaser Featuring Gabe Saporta of Cobra Starship


Grammy Award-winning artist EVE released her new single, “Make It Out This Town” featuring Cobra Starship frontman Gabe Saporta on iTunes on March 5. The song, which first premiered last month as part of Big Brothers Big Sisters’ National Mentoring Month conference in Washington, D.C., is an inspiring and uplifting, ‘overcoming the odds’ anthem. Eve was recently named a National Celebrity Ambassador for the charity.

“I am releasing ‘Make It Out This Town’ as my first single from Lip Lock because I wanted to share the positive place I have come into,” says EVE. “I went through obstacles to get my music and message out and nothing embodies this more than this song, which also mirrors my recent honor and connection that comes with my role as an ambassador for Big Brothers Big Sisters. The song is dedicated to them.”

“Make It Out This Town” is the official single released from Eve’s long-awaited, much-anticipated album, Lip Lock, due out May 14th. The video for the first song from the body of new work, “She Bad Bad,” garnered over one million views less than a week after its release.

Fugees Wyclef Jean

Grammy® Winning WYCLEF JEAN To Release Explosive New 13 Song EP: “FROM THE HUT TO THE PROJECTS TO THE MANSION” On November 10! Iconic Wyclef Jean Is Toussaint St. Jean — Featuring DJ Drama, Eve, Cyndi Lauper, Timbaland, and others!

Grammy® Winning WYCLEF JEAN To Release Explosive New 13 Song EP: “FROM THE HUT TO THE PROJECTS TO THE MANSION” On November 10! Iconic Wyclef Jean Is Toussaint St. Jean — Featuring DJ Drama, Eve, Cyndi Lauper, Timbaland, and others!

“I’m not sugar-coating anything with this EP. It’s spontaneous, yet has a backstory concept that is fresh and challenging.” – Wyclef

October 13, 2009 – Wyclef is hip-hop’s cultural ambassador. Not only is he a music legend, but his humanitarian efforts have made him the conscience of music. On November 10, 2009 Wyclef returns to hip-hop with the gritty release of From The Hut To The Projects To The Mansion on Carnival House via Megaforce/Sony Music.

Wyclef is a great American success story of an artist that came from Haiti to rise above all obstacles. He found success with The Fugees and numerous solo efforts, selling over 30 million albums worldwide and he was recently featured on 60 Minutes® about his efforts to help Haiti.

Wyclef is also one of the hottest music producers working with every major artist from Shakira to Santana. His 2007 written and produced “Hips Don’t Lie” featuring Shakira, was a # 1 hit around the world, further expanding his utopian multi-cultural appeal.

The people react to Wyclef like no other artist. His inextricable relationship with fans is unprecedented. In a matter of a few months, Wyclef’s Twitter following was over 1 million — in a sense, his fans are considered an extension of him.

Wyclef now returns with this brilliant hip-hop EP with all new material collaborating with DJ Drama. It’s the concept mixtape he has wanted to make and features a gritty, yet melodic effort with some amazing guests such as Eve, Timbaland, Maino, Cyndi Lauper, and others.

“I wanted to do this release with Megaforce/Red as I want to hi my hip hop can college fanbase and who better to do that than an indie label/distributor,” says Wyclef.

Toussaint St. Jean, the title character of Wyclef’s new EP, is a persona suggested to Wyclef by his friend and collaborator T.I. The character Toussaint is loosely based on the 18th-century Haitian revolutionary hero, Toussaint L’Ouverture, a figure who brought Haiti to significance on the international stage.

Inhabiting the role of Toussaint on these songs, Wyclef recreates himself in the spirit of a noble fighter, a man who says exactly what is on his mind. Toussaint’s rhymes hit hard, in a “militant style,” and make his words felt – and remembered.

And so what is the difference between Wyclef and Toussaint? “Toussaint is more direct,” Wyclef says. “He ain’t going to sugarcoat nothing. Whatever he’s thinking, he’s going to tell you. It’s like, I’ve still got this machete – my tongue is sharper than it’s ever been.” To help create suitable musical settings for the grisly tales Toussaint has to tell, Wyclef turned to DJ Drama, who has worked extensively with T.I. “I asked myself, ‘Who’s the toughest guy out there?’” Wyclef says. “Then I said, well, DJ Drama is pretty badass. So I called him and asked if he’d be interested in doing a mixtape. He heard what I was up to and he said, ‘We gotta do a book – this is a novel!’ He got excited, and it became more like an EP than a mixtape.

The track that best captures the feelings that motivate Toussaint St. Jean is the intensely dramatic “The Streets Pronounce Me Dead,” a chronicle of Wyclef witnessing his own metaphoric funeral. It’s a commentary on Wyclef’s sense of himself as a forgotten man on the hip-hop scene, despite the groundbreaking impact of his former group, the Fugees, whose 1996 album “The Score” is the best-selling hip-hop album of all time, with sales of nearly twenty million copies worldwide . The song cites the flood of younger rappers – Akon, Lil Jon, Kanye West, among them — who have risen up as Wyclef has gone onto prominence as a solo artist and producer for the likes of Shakira, Mick Jagger, Bono and John Legend.

Tracks like “Warriorz,” “Letter From the Penn” and “Toussaint vs. Bishop” paint riveting pictures, “hood stories,” as Wyclef describes them, of street life and its consequences. The gripping storytelling in those songs recalls the raw environments in Haiti and Brooklyn from which Wyclef emerged – “from the hut to the projects to the mansion,” as he memorably puts it in “Slumdog Millionaire.” It’s a story arc that these songs make compelling.

Wyclef views the message of “Toussaint St. Jean” as “not everything that appears bad is really bad, because the real bad men move in silence. So be careful what you emulate, because it’s could get you six feet deep. If you don’t see me with a gun, it doesn’t mean that the guy with the gun is badder than me. I’ve been in those communities, but you’ve got to rise past that world.”

And, as always with Wyclef, there’s more to the story than meets the eye. “Toussaint St. Jean” represents just the first step on the road to another album he intends to release in 2010 titled simply “wyclefjean.” The album will reflect a three-dimensional portrait of an artist for whom the gritty sagas of Toussaint St. Jean are just one part.

Wyclef Jean remains signed to Columbia Records/Sony Music and is set to release his self-titled LP “Wyclef Jean” in Spring 2010.

Song List:

1. Interlude – From The Hut, To The Projects, To The Mansion

2. Warrior’s Anthem

3. The Streets Pronounce Me Dead

4. Slumdog Millionaire feat. Cyndi Lauper aka Luscious Loo

5. Interlude – Every Now & Then

6. Walk Away

7. More Bottles feat. Timbaland

8. You Don’t Wanna Go Outside

9. Toussaint vs. Bishop

10. Interlude – The Struggle

11. We Made It

12. Suicide Love feat. Eve

13. Letter From The Penn

14. Robotic Love

15. Gangsta Girl

16. Interlude – Tell The Kids The Truth

17. The Shottas

DMX Swizz Beatz Videos

Jadakiss – Who’s Real (Ruff Ryders Remix) video featuring Swizz Beatz, Eve, Drag-On, Styles P, Sheek Louch & DMX

Jadakiss – Who’s Real (Ruff Ryders Remix) video featuring Swizz Beatz, Eve, Drag-On, Styles P, Sheek Louch & DMX

The official music video for the Ruff Ryders remix to Jadakiss’ “Who’s Real” featuring Swizz Beatz, Eve, Drag-On, Styles P, Sheek Louch and DMX. The new Ruff Ryders Album is now scheduled to be released in 2010.