Eve Jeffers Cooper — a.k.a Eve — is the definition of reinvention.
Once a Grammy Award-winning, multi-platinum rapper turned actress turned fashion designer, Eve stepped away from the limelight to figure out this thing called life. At the peak of her career she had done it all, but the burnout was all too real.
“There was no roadmap,” she told ESSENCE’s Yes, Girl! Podcast. “So I’m like, well, what do I want to do with my life? So I started doing shows, but then that burns you out. It’s like, this isn’t really what I want to be doing. Then I just took a step back and then at that time, when I made the decision, like, OK I’m just going to step back and kind of discover myself, figure out who I want to be as a woman, in life. And then I met my husband. “
Eve became instant #relationshipgoals when she met her billionaire husband Maximillion Cooper, and found a lasting love. She was living a fairytale life after all and took time off from the stage and the screen to enjoy it. But her fans continued to call on her to return.
Was she ready to come back? Yes, of course. But the biggest thing that halted her was that the industry had changed quite a bit during her hiatus.
Known for her gritty and authentic rhymes, Eve had a knack for storytelling that is lost on many artists of this generation. She wasn’t one to try and keep up with the trends — not back then, and definitely not today.
She said, “I think I’ve always been afraid of … I guess losing too much of myself by trying to keep up with some shit for no reason, if that makes sense.”
For the 100th episode of the “Yes, Girl” podcast, she also told our hosts — ESSENCE Directors Charli Penn and Cori Murray — that the female rap game is not nearly as dirty as it used to be back in the day.
“I thought it was [going to be] a big sisterhood. And so I didn’t go through that. But then I did, as I got older in the business. I did find that group of women that have always, and still to this day, we might not talk for years, but I know I could call and be like, ‘Hey, what’s up?’ Or, ‘I need to talk,’ or something,” she recalled. “Now it’s totally different. I think now that is the culture of supporting each other and being happy for that next person, and we should be. It only makes life that much better. And when you are happy for that person genuinely, why not?”
She continues, “It just wasn’t like that when I was coming up. I was the one that was like fangirling over everybody, like, ‘Oh, my God, I love you so much, we should do a song together. And they’d be like, ‘Mm-mm.’”
The one piece of advice that she learned during her time away from the spotlight?
“Give yourself permission,” she says. “Yes, you are able to have what you envision. And sometimes it’s just taking a small step, and then it unfolds into something else. So give yourself permission. Don’t be so hard on yourself.”
Listen to or watch the full episode above. For more juicy episodes of Yes, Girl! podcast, click here.