Eve returns with 'Scorpion,'
but album fails
to have same sting as
*** (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.
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
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