Eve reflects on legacy of women in hip-hop, new series 'Queens'

“The women of hip hop have given our culture a real, true, authentic voice."

When Eve burst into the mainstream in the late 90s with her debut album, "Let There Be Eve...Ruff Ryders' First Lady," the rapper made history as the third female hip-hop artist to top the Billboard Hot 200 chart.

ABC News Special
ABC News Special
Explores the inspiring rise of women in hip-hop and is narrated by Cheryl “Salt” James of Salt-N-Pepa.
Stream On Hulu

And now, the Grammy-winning artist is celebrating the legacy of women in hip-hop by starring in in ABC's "Queens," a drama that follows the lives of four women as they reunite for the first time in 20 years and seek to recapture the fame they achieved as part of an iconic 90s hip-hop group, "Nasty B------."

"You kind of see them in their womanhood getting back together, figuring out how to get back together. But it's definitely about the music, but it's also about friendship," Eve told ABC News.

The ABC series, which is set to premiere on Oct 19., stars Eve as Brianna, whose stage name is "Professor Sex," R&B star Brandy as Naomi "Xplicit Lyrics," Naturi Naughton, who was part of R&B group 3LW, as Jill "Da Thrill," and actress Nadine Velazquez as Valeria "Butter Pecan."

The show takes audiences back to the 90s at a time when the hip-hop industry was particularly male-dominated and women had to fight to get into what was primarily considered a "boys club."

Eve reflected on the legacy of women in hip-hop and her own rise in an interview that is set to air on ABC and Hulu on Monday as part of the special documentary, "The Real Queens of Hip-Hop: The Women Who Changed the Game."

The rapper, who had to battle male rappers to get signed by Ruff Ryders Entertainment, said that in the late 1990s and 2000s, when she launched her career, it was difficult for female artists to breakthrough in hip-hop because the industry was male-dominated.

"When I say male-dominated, I don't mean in front of the cam, those people on stage. I mean the people that you have to sign contracts with, the people that you have to negotiate with," she said.

With the rise of social media over the past decade, she said female artists have been able to grow their own platforms and develop their own fan bases without having to wait for a big co-sign from a record label.

In the case of artists like Cardi B, she was launched into the spotlight as a social media sensation and reality TV star. Then, a big record deal followed.

Reflecting on how things have changed since she launched her career, Eve said that she loves to see many female rappers succeed in the industry -- from big stars like Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion and Nicki Minaj, to underground artists.

"If anything, it's going to continue to grow. I don't think you'll see another period like that 2000s where [women] are just gone. That's not going to happen," she said.

"Having that woman's voice in hip hop is so important," she added. "... The women of hip hop have given our culture a real, true, authentic voice."