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"Let There Be Eve... Ruff Ryders' First Lady" came in 1999 soon after Ruff Ryders' first collective release. The thing finds Eve, a female rapper out of Philly, getting her first chance to get her music out to the masses. Here we find that she's backed primary by Swizz Beatz, who offers the vast majority of the beats here as she raps with other expected names both from in the Ruff Ryders camp and from the Philadelphia area.
1. "First Lady" (Intro)
2. "Let's Talk About"
We get a grimy introduction setting things off as we see that Swizz Beatz starts chanting Eve's name and the name of his Ruff Ryders crew before we make our way into this tune. Here's she backed-up by Drag-On (a rapper also signed to Ruff Ryders) and together they get things excited over the top of some freaky beats that Swizzy offers to the two of them as they get things excited here and give us a taster of what's to come.
3. "Gotta Man"
Eve does things alone this time around as she doesn't get any vocal assistance on this one and we get to see just how raw a rapper she is. As we got the first chance to see this one the first Ruff Ryders compilation, people already had a fair idea, but here we get a rather general album tune within the thing and it shows that she may have some intensity within her, but when she isn't she's quite average.
4. "Philly Cheese Steak" (Lude)
5. "Philly Philly"
As we get ourselves off an interlude, we see that here we have Philly's finest coming together to do their thing as here Eve links right up with Beanie Sigel. With Beanz being right in the streets, he was a good name to get the attention that she wanted from those who know the true Philadelphia Rap scene to get some exposure on that level and I thought that the results of the music were of a standard that you couldn't mess with as they come with a bouncy jam.
6. "Stuck Up"
We see that here Eve gets right to the rapping some more and she does a rather straight-forward track. I have to say that this one, much more than the others than came before it, show that really eve isn't actually saying a lot at all and it means that I couldn't really say that she was worth going out to try and listen to when he doesn't particularly make an effort to try and impress with her basic rhymes.
7. "Ain't Got No Dough"
I thought that having Missy Elliot come to join Eve was a great move as we see that we have a like-minded MC coming to assist her and giving her guidance so that Eve isn't brought down by being forces into standard Mafioso rapping which was the big trend of this time. Instead they go out to complain about men who won't do it for them and it makes for a freaky tune with some nice throwback-styled beats from Swizzy.
8. "BM" (Lude)
9. "Love Is Blind"
For this one Eve comes to show that she's about to do more than just rap as she sings on the hook for this one. I really can't say that I thought all that much to this one and so it did little for me however I expect that this one will appeal towards others as this one seems to be directed towards females who are into Hip Hop and connect to the themes that she offers as a Gangsta Rap act (at this time anyway).
10. "Scenario 2000"
Here we get a Ruff Ryders posse cut. I thought that it was a nice addition to add to this release it gives incentive to people who are into the crew to have a chance to try out this album (as female rappers don't tend to see the same support as males). Here they claim to do an updated classic Tribe Called Quest tune but this doesn't really come and the only similarity is that a crew of people come up on the cut and do their thing.
11. "Dog Match"
DMX (who was on the last one with The L.O.X. and Drag-On too) is seen to make an appearance on this one and rap with Eve. X goes raw with some gritty rhymes which you just have to expect from him and we see that he makes for a nice contrast from what Eve has to offer. Together they work well, but you can see why you didn't get too many of these link-ups as it has novelty appeal by their styles are a bit too different to go that far.
12. "My B***hes" (Lude)
13. "We On That S**t!"
As we get off a killer short track, we find that here we have the first major change in th eprodcution coming as Swizz hands things over to P Killer for a bit of a change. He also get the chance to rhyme out the chorus to the thing and together they come to offer a fly piece that re-connects things to the streets and so will appeal to those down with the East Coast underground at the time when things shifted with the new Millennium.
14. "Chokie Nikes" (Lude)
As we come off another of the interludes on the thing, we spring back with another Swizz Beatz-produced tune. She goes in hard here with a club one. This wasn't able to see anywhere near the same reception as their later link ups (such as 2006's "Tambourine") and it shows just how long it took for Eve to find exactly where she needed to be to pull of those kind of things. What you get here is nothing more than average and it means that it's unable to get off the floor really.
16. "My Enemies" (Lude)
17. "Heaven Only Knows"
The album ends here as we see that we're given a deep and dark tune from here where she traces her past. I felt that it a bit predictable as we have her talking about her rebellion in her teenage years and turning towards the streets (seeing stripping as a way of getting her money up before getting into this). It did little for me, but it was just the kind of thing we knew was going to close of his debut from her.
I can't really say I was feeling this album much. It seemed as though a lot was meant to be put into it but only half of it was pulled off. It's strange that even things such as guest appearances from The L.O.X. and DMX just seem desperate and pull the album down and so it means that you can't really take much from this album and it's not much of a start to her career.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 First Lady (Intro)
2 Let's Talk About - Drag-On, Eve
3 Gotta Man
4 Philly Philly - Eve,
5 Stuck Up
6 Ain't Got No Dough - Missy Elliott, Eve
7 Love Is Blind
8 Scenario 2000 - DMX, Drag-On, Eve, The LOX
9 Dog Match - DMX, Eve
10 We on That - Eve,
12 Heaven Only Knows
13 What Y'all Want [Remix][*]