x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Rapper Eve quashes rumours of her conversion to Islam

The American rapper Eve yesterday quashed rumours that she was a Muslim.

DUBAI // The American rapper Eve yesterday quashed rumours that she was a Muslim. Eve, 31, who has sold several million albums worldwide, was speaking in Dubai ahead of a performance at the Chi nightclub. Last night, she became the first major female rap artist to perform in the UAE, before an estimated 3,000 crowd. Eve, a singer, actress and fashion designer, said she had been close to converting in her youth, but never fully accepted the religion.

"I have studied Islam for about a year with the intention of converting, but I didn't have the right mentors," Eve said. "I didn't want to be a hypocrite to the religion. I love music and those things could not go together. I respect those people who need it but I am very OK with my relationship with God." Eve is from Pennsylvania, a city with a large Muslim community. She had visited only one other Islamic country, Morocco, before arriving in the Emirates on Saturday.

While Eve does not conform to organised religion, she said she was spiritual. "I wake up thanking God for the day and for every moment. Before I go on stage, I pray. I talk to Him a lot. It helps keep me centred." On her first visit to the UAE, Eve said she would adhere to the rules of the country. "What they told me was definitely not to curse on stage. I will remember that," she said. "The dress code I will find out, but I don't show much of anything, anyway."

Having already visited the gold souks and made some significant purchases, sipping tea in the Burj Al Arab and visiting the city's mosques were on Eve's list of things to do. Eve said she would be happy to return. "It's an honour to be the first major female rapper here," she said. "It would be great to come again. I heard some of the artists that come here include Mario, and Wayne Wonder is coming, so it feels good to be part of a diverse group."

Some of the tension between the West and the East could be alleviated by a relationship focusing on the exchange of entertainment, Eve said. Looking ahead, the events manager at the Chi nightclub, Mohammed Anwar, said he was interested in booking another rap artist, the notorious Lil' Kim. @Email:asafdar@thenational.ae