Hey Eve, where have you been? Racing cars? Vroom, vroom. Central London was locked down on Saturday June 9th to host the rich, the powerful, the great and the good in the UK leg of this year’s Gumball 3000. For its 15th year, the rally saw fast cars, flash cars and famous cars take an epic roadtrip from Miami to Ibiza. Tinie Tempah, Dizzee Rascal, Deadmau5 and Tony Hawk were all present. At the front of the pack were the happy couple of British designer, former pro-skater, Central St Martins graduate, entrepreneur, and Gumball 3000 founder Maximillion Cooper and his wife - hip hop legend Eve. Engines at the ready...
Miami to Ibiza. How did you decide on the route?
Maximillion: Every year, we try to come up with something new, to keep it fresh and keep exploring. The thing for me, to make it interesting, is to cross through different cultures. Driving through North Carolina and then 48-hours through the Highlands in Scotland, that’s what will make the journey really unique. I think Miami to Ibiza has a nice ring about it as well.
Eve: Party, party!
Eve, you’re based in London permanently now, right?
Eve: Yeah, I’m here. This is home now. I love it. I mean, I’m from the States, I love the States, I love New York, I love Philly. But there’s something about London that just makes me really happy. I love being here. And yesterday, when I landed I was like, yes, Heathrow! I was so excited.
You featured on Prince’s album. Did you catch him while he was playing over here?
Eve: I wish. I’ve seen him perform like six or seven times. It never gets old or boring. I would love to have seen him here. It’s Prince! I think he’s an alien, I’ve always said it.
You’ve worked with a lot of the industry’s leading ladies: Faith Evans, Missy Elliot, Gwen Stefani. Do you think there can be too much focus on the rivalries between female artists at the loss of a bigger story about sisterhood in the industry?
Eve: 100%. Nicki Minaj is great - I think she’s dope and she’s done a great job - but I think there are some amazing females out there besides here, like Azealia Banks, who is amazing, lyrically. Then these other girls who are bubbling up. It’s funny that you say the sisterhood of hip hop because while I was in New York, I was watching this new show called the Sisterhood with these five girls trying to make it. There’s so much testosterone in the industry. It’s like, why can’t girls get along, or like, why is it that the industry plays females off against each other? When I was out; Missy Elliot, Trina, we were homies. We loved seeing each other, and going to each other’s shows. I think it needs to get back to that, or there will be no females out. I think it’s stupid.
You worked with Dre before. Are you surprised by the success of Beats?
Eve: I mean, please! It’s out of control. It’s no surprise between him and Jimmy Iovine. I used to call Jimmy the puppet-master because I used to be in meetings with him and the way his brain works… I always said there was some little man under his hat. But between those two minds, I’m not surprised.
You released your most recent album on your own label. Did that allow you more creative freedom?
Eve: There is so much freedom but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss some elements of the monster of a major label. You get that push, you get that machine. When you’re an independent label, you can’t reach all the radio stations or the video shows or all those people who can help push the albums. But in a lyrical sense and an artistic sense, I do love it, because I can do what I want and I don’t have to ask anybody anything.
Eve, any particularly wild Gumball memories?
Eve: I think my first year was probably my craziest year. I entered with my best friend and a friend of hers. Everything was great until we got to Canada. I’d gotten a DUI a couple of years before and I forgot that when you go through Canada, you have to write a letter to let them know you’ve got this charge to get in the country. I totally forgot about it. So we couldn’t get to the border. We begged them, and they said no, and I was so heartbroken. And then Max pulls up and he comes in and tries to talk to them - and this was the one of the first times we’d met - and he was like, you know what, I have a plan. So he called some chief of police somewhere, they found out about some secret border that doesn’t have borders, so us three girls had to go to a truck stop, pull all the stickers off the car - people were driving by, we looked like we’d murdered someone - and then we go through this border. These people are looking at us like ‘are you guys drug mules’! They interviewed us and we were like ‘we’re on our annual college trip’. When they were like ‘are you part of Gumball?’, we were like ‘No!’. That was my introduction.
Max: Everybody has a different adventure that week. Marriages have started on the rally, and marriages have probably broken up on the rally.
Eve: That’s so true. My best friend is still my best friend, her best friend was in the car with us and they haven’t spoken since. It’s intense, you’re in a car for 3,000 miles.
Max: It’s created what I like to think of as a Gumball family. Just over 5,000 people have completed the rally: some really influential and interesting personalities, some eccentric characters.
Eve: That’s what I love about Gumball. There are people that you would never have the chance to sit in a room with, or even pass on the street. And with Gumball, you get the chance to have dinner with this Sheikh or this Prince or this cool skateboarder that you might have loved but never thought you’d meet. It’s always a cool, eclectic mix of people.
And your marriage began on the Gumball, didn’t it?
Max: We met when Eve first did the rally in 2010. We actually met on the red carpet, it sounds so ridiculous, but we’d never met before…
Eve: ...You know how events are, it was one of those quick things: ‘Eve, Max; Max, Eve. Here, take a picture’. It was that quick.
Max: And that picture, that was the second that we met. And that week, we ended up hanging out and obviously that border crossing…
Eve: ...That’s what made me love him. He came to my rescue!
Max: We’ve been together every day since and we’re getting married in Ibiza three days after the rally finishes.
Eve: I’m not doing the whole one this year, I’m flying ahead to Ibiza to get ready. All he needs to do is show up, shave and put on a suit.