Eve Transforms From Pitbull To Songbird, Breaks Out Singing Voice For Next LP

After four-year break from releasing albums, Eve returns at end of year.

The illest "pitbull in a skirt" bites no more?

Well, not quite, but Eve says to expect less bark on her next release, a joint effort between Swizz Beatz's Full Surface Records and Dr. Dre's Aftermath Entertainment that is tentatively due out at the end of the year.

The rapper said her time away from the microphone — due to acting and business ventures — made her realize it was time to change her regular approach. So when Eve began planning for her latest project she decided to take her chances and finally put her vocal pipes to the test.

"I haven't been out in four years," Eve explained during a break from New York's Fashion Week activities (see "Fashion Week Update: Christina Milian Hikes Up Her Pants, 'Project Runway' Final Four Debut"). "There are a lot of different things [going on now]. I come from hip-hop, so it's definitely [going to be] hip-hop, but I am singing for the first time on this album."

The Philadelphia rapper, who has carried a tune from time to time in the past, explained she is fully focused on exercising vocal chords on her upcoming project, which will be her first full-length LP since 2002's Eve-olution. She's been in the studio with Cool & Dre, and she's also recently worked with stars including Sean Paul, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony on Swizz Beatz's International Day of Peace song (see "Swizz Beatz Grabs J. Lo, Wyclef, Chris Brown For U.N. Peace Track"), but it's her collaboration with the Neptunes that's got her most excited. She says it's the first song she entirely sings on without rapping.

"I did a song with Pharrell where I sang the whole song, which is something the label has always wanted me to do [in the past]," she said. "But I never had the courage to do it. Now I felt like I'd take the gamble because it is the fourth album, and why buy my album if you're going to hear the same thing you heard three years ago?"

In addition to altering her music, Eve also hopes to revamp her clothing line, Fetish. The fashion-forward star — who has played a clothing designer on TV since 2003 — parted ways with her last distributor, Marc Ecko Enterprises, in 2004 but still has plans to expand Fetish. She's looking for a more mature yet exciting look, she said.

"It will be a lot more grown-up" Eve said of the line. "When it was out a couple of years ago, it was very juniors and it wasn't my style. Some of it was me, but it didn't really reflect me, which is why we kind of pulled back. And now, it will definitely be more chic and fun.

"Basically just me," she added.