Picks and Pans Review: Scorpion
Album of the week
Despite the ascendancy of such female rap stars as TLC, Lil' Kim and Missy Elliott, hip-hop remains a man's world. By the sound of Scorpion, the second hard-hitting solo album from this Philadelphia-born 22-year-old, Eve plans not to seduce Adam but to beguile him. A member of the hip-hop collective Ruff Ryders, Eve (her real name is Eve Jihan Jeffers) made her debut with 1999's double-platinum CD Eve—Ruff Ryders' First Lady. While she was no wilting flower on that album, here she delivers an even harder-edged manifesto. Some heavy hitters have come in to lend a hand, including fellow Ruff Ryder rapper DMX and producer Swizz Beatz, but Eve clearly needs no help relaying her message of self-reliance and confidence. Whether demanding respect for her accomplishments on "Cowboy" or, on "Who's That Girl," delivering homegirl boasts over blistering beats ("I can understand why they scared of Eve/ Thought I did it one way/ Ain't prepared for me"), her intensity never flags. Even when she reveals hurt feelings on "Life Is So Hard" or rues a love gone wrong on "No, No, No," she betrays not an ounce of self-pity.
Bottom Line: A hip-hop tour de force