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April 20, 2014

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Salt N Pepa

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salt n pepa


As the biggest selling female rap group, Salt 'N Pepa crashed hip-hop's male dominated ranks with a combination of sass and sultry sophistication. However, the trio of Cheryl 'Salt' James, Sandy 'Pepa' Denton and Dee Dee 'DJ Spinderella' Roper didn't just depend on good looks to make an impact. With songs about female empowerment and safe sex, the group proved that ladies in hip-hop could be smart and sexy at the same time.

Natives of Queens, N.Y., James and Denton worked as customer service reps at Sears while taking classes as students at Queens Community College in the mid-1980s. At Sears, they met co-worker Hurby 'Luv Bug' Azor, a student at New York's Center for Media Arts who needed to fulfill a class assignment.

Azor, who would eventually become James' boyfriend and the group's producer, had an idea for the ladies to record an 'answer' record to Doug E. Fresh and the Get Fresh Crew's popular song 'The Show.' He named the group Supernature and James and Denton recorded 'The Showstopper,' which blossomed into an indie hit, selling more than 250,000 copies.

Soon after, the group changed its name to Salt N Pepa. James and Denton quit school and Sears to work on music full time as artists on Next Plateau Records, and Roper joined the group too.

Their 1988 debut album, 'Hot, Cool, & Vicious,' eventually went platinum, largely on the strength of the irresistibly sexy party-starter 'Push It.' The track, with its breathy, whispered chorus and uptempo synth-driven track, was recorded as an 11th-hour addition. It was set to be the b-side to the single 'Tramps.' But when Cameron Paul, a California DJ, remixed it and sent it to Next Plateau execs, they released it with an accompanying concert video. The record took off.

Subsequent albums -- 'A Salt With a Deadly Pepa,' 'Blacks' Magic,' and 'Very Necessary' -- had their share of memorable hits such as 'Let's Talk About Sex,' 'Shoop' and 'Whatta Man' with En Vogue.

Their fifth album, 'Brand New,' dropped in 1997 but failed to take the group back to its hit-making heights. By 2002, the group disbanded. In recent years, James and Denton have starred in a few reality shows on VH1 including last year's highly rated dating show, 'Let's Talk About Pep.'

Now, Salt N Pepa often perform their old hits on various hip-hop legends tours.

Influenced...Contemporaries Roxanne Shante and MC Lyte, Yo-Yo, Li'l Kim, Nikki Minaj and Trina.





'Push It'





'Whatta Man'

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