From New York to Los Angeles, Eve has been all over the red carpet lately. But the one event that’s missing from her busy schedule is the album release party for her fourth CD, Here I Am. That’s because it hasn’t dropped yet. More than a year ago, my co-workers and I visited the Philadelphia rapper/actress at Interscope Records’ Manhattan headquarters, where she gave us a private preview of her new music. We enjoyed most of what we heard, including collaborations with Pharrell Williams, Swizz Beatz, and Sean Paul, and we looked forward to adding her to our summer 2007 playlist. But after the album’s first two singles, “Tambourine” and “Give It to You,” failed to connect with listeners, Here I Am was pulled from the release schedule and now remains indefinitely shelved.
I recently touched base with reps for both Eve and Interscope to find out what’s going on with the album. No one could offer any insight except to say that she “just wrapped” shooting a role in Drew Barrymore‘s upcoming directorial debut, Whip It!. Of course, album delays are not out of the ordinary in the music business, nor is it uncommon for Interscope chief Jimmy Iovine to hold discs until he deems they’re up to snuff. In fact, in an interview with my colleague Tim Stack, he called it “Jimmy Jail.” The current roster of Jimmy Jail inmates includes Nicole Scherzinger from the Pussycat Dolls, R&B singer Keri Hilson, and teen rapper Teyana Taylor. Not unlike Eve, they’ve all recorded albums that are now being kept hostage by Iovine. If and when he’ll set them free remains a mystery.