By Erika Ramirez
Don’t call it a comeback.
But Philadelphia MC-cum-Hollywood starlet Eve did return to the music scene on Monday (December 7) with an appearance on Swizz Beatz’s Monster Monday track, “Hot Steppa #1.” The cut is reminiscent of the duo’s magic during the Ruff Ryders era, and it’s clear that both E-V-E and Alicia Keys’ husband never lost their creative bond.
The time couldn’t be more perfect for pitbull in a skirt to step back into the limelight. With Foxy Brown re-emerging and the drama that is Lil Kim and Nicki Minaj’s beef, eyes are peeled for real talent, in the way of lyrics and show(wo)manship.
RapFix turned to some of hip-hop’s experts for their thoughts on Eve’s “Hot” rhymes.
“Lyrically, I think Eve sounds as good as she always has,” said Kathy Iandoli, Media Director of HipHopDx.com. “You can tell she was pushing herself just a little bit harder though. With Nicki Minaj re-opening the lanes for female MCs, I think a lot of veteran female rappers are going to resurface.”
“Swizz and Eve have always had great chemistry so it’s no surprise that ’Hot Steppa #1’ has an energetic bouncy feel, but the song was a tease,” said Starrene Rhett, freelance writer and founder of GangStarrGirl.com. “We’ve heard Eve come harder so it’s safe to assume that she was probably just playing. Maybe she was tired of all the Nicki Minaj and Lil’ Kim talk and decided to remind us that she’s still here. Hopefully Eve and Swizzy will storm the game together again.”
Mikey “Fresh” Yi, of VIBE.com and MissInfo.tv, added, “She was rapping her ass off a decade ago and she’s proving that the illest pitbull in a skirt still lives. Eve doing her Hollywood thing is cool and label drama is no new story, but a record like ’Hot Steppa #1’ just brings us back to that short-haired blond chick rapping in a junkyard with a bunch of thugs. We need that.”
While cognoscenti are generally pleased by Eve’s bars, Rob Markman, Deputy Editor of XXL magazine, says the Philly native isn’t quiet ready to reclaim her crown.
“It doesn’t feel like a comeback by any means,” says Markman. “I get the feeling that Eve is still toying with rap, but with a couple more tracks like this to rebuild her foundation — she may have something. Overall the track feels incomplete but it definitely isn’t wack. One thing that I do appreciate about ’Hot Steppa #1’ is that Eve was able to express her rap superiority without calling out Nicki Minaj who seems to be a punching bag for any female MC who wants to make noise.”
Regardless of how rap fans categorize Eve’s newest song, she’s definitely garnered attention thanks to Swizz’s fiery and layered production on “Hot Steppa #1.”
What do you think of Eve’s “Hot Steppa #1”? Tweet us at @MTVRapFix or tell us in a comment below!