Eve

Eve was one of a new breed of tough, talented, commercially viable female MCs to hit the rap scene during the late '90s. Though she could be sexy when she chose, she wasn't as over the top as Lil' Kim or Foxy Brown, and as part of the Ruff Ryders posse, her production was harder than Da Brat's early work with Jermaine Dupri. In the end, Eve came off as her own person; a strong, no-nonsense street MC who could hold her own with most anyone on the mike, and was finding success on her own terms. She was born Eve Jihan Jeffers in Philadelphia on November 10, 1978, and started out as a singer in her early teens, performing with an all-female vocal quintet. She was also honing her skills as a rapper in impromptu battles with friends, and before she left high school, she formed a female rap duo called EDGP (pronounced "Egypt"), adopting the name Gangsta. EDGP performed at local talent shows and club gigs, often to the detriment of Eve's dedication to school. When the group broke up, she went solo and changed her name to Eve of Destruction; she also moved to the Bronx in the wake of her mother's remarriage, and worked for a time as a table dancer at a strip club. Unhappy with this direction, she decided to give rap another shot after being encouraged by Mase.