Thursday, March 29, 2001 Volume 66, Issue 121



Eve returns with 'Scorpion,' but album fails 
to have same sting as debut set


*** (out of 5)

Ruff Ryders/Interscope Records

By Jake McKim
Daily Cougar Staff

Rap music is still undoubtedly a male-dominated art form featuring hardcore, testosterone-driven men who love to brag on how fat their pockets are, how many women they can get and the fact that, when it comes to rhyming skills, no one is better.

But lately, women have emerged as a force to be reckoned within hip-hop with female emcees making a name for themselves in the late 1990s and early 2000s. 

With her 1999 debut album Ruff Ryder's First Lady and several guest appearances on her peers' albums, the Philadelphia-born Eve may have the best argument for top female rapper in the game.

On her latest release, Scorpion, Eve returns with another set of braggadocios rhymes and her usual ladies-first persona that has endeared her to so many of her fans.

Holding her own in the male-dominated rap world is Eve, whose second album, Scorpion will please fans of her unique delivery.

Jonathan Mannion/
Interscope Records

Eve's skills have increased rather notably since her debut in 1999 with the rapper flowing smoothly over tracks. Her narrative abilities have also improved and she could probably hold her own with the best in freestyle competitions.

On Ruff Ryder's First Lady, Eve displayed a surprising power to preach a positive message for women without turning off her male listeners. But on Scorpion, this power gets lost in a jungle of words that fail to empower women (Eve unnecessarily labels herself a b***h on numerous occasions). The album won't earn females the respect they deserve from male rap fans.

Despite this, Eve rhymes with a lyrical fury that will draw your attention the second you hit "play."

On the first single, "Who's That Girl?" Eve displays her radio-friendly savvy and speaks proudly, "Little boys hang me on the wall, I grow 'em chest hair." The best track on the album and one that will be a hit if released as a single is "Let Me Blow Ya Mind" featuring Gwen Stefani. Eve smoothly rides on this Dr. Dre-produced ditty that is both catchy and entertaining.

"That's What It Is" featuring The Lox and Drag-On, is another Dr. Dre creation that deserves attention for its grimy, West Coast feel and head-bobbing bass line.

The problem with Scorpion is the too many missteps in this 16-track collection. "You Had Me, You Lost Me" is annoying at best and "Got What You Need" is repetitive and will lose your attention quickly.

Even appearances by DMX, Da Brat, Trina and Stephen Marley fail to do anything except allow Eve to brag about getting these people to perform on her album. Otherwise, they don't add anything to the album.

Scorpion hits a low point on "Thug In The Street" with its sleep-inducing and unmemorable beat and rhymes by The Lox, Drag-On and Eve. This track represents how far former superstar producer Swizz Beatz has fallen from his glory days of just a couple of years ago.

This shouldn't, however, deter Eve's fans from buying the album. The good of it almost outweighs the bad. It's just disappointing that someone with the ability to do so much to improve current taboos conforms to what she thinks the male-dominated society wants to hear.

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