Salt-N-Pepa are not only the best female rap group to ever do it, they are also one Hip-Hop’s most storied pioneers. After making their formal debut in 1985, they have gone on to win a Grammy Award and sell millions of records worldwide. It was also their catalog’s diverse subject matter; from sexual responsibility (“Let’s Talk About Sex”) to flipping the script to objectifying men (“Shoop”) to bona fide classics (“Push It”) that kept their name transcending in generations that necessarily didn’t group up on their music.
The current year marks the 30th anniversary of Salt-N-Pepa’s rise to prominence and the group consisting of Cheryl “Salt” James, Sandra “Pepa” Denton and Deidra “Spinderella” Roper are set to be honored by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) later this week for their milestone achievements as artists.
“It feels amazing to be coming up on 30 years in the game and have our work still acknowledged and respected as pioneers in music,” Salt told the NYDailyNews of her pending award that will be received on Wednesday, October 28. “The first time we heard that song on the radio we were driving down the boulevard in Queens. Pep hopped out of the car in the middle of the street and I was screaming at her to get back in the car.”
“I don’t know how they know what flight we’re on, but the fans are always there at baggage claim,” Pepa chimed in. “They keep old CDs and other things forever to have us autograph.”
The group was also renown for their stylish flair as well as their incredible records; a style that helped them stand out in a genre where most female acts were gone before their first album ran its course.
“The asymmetrical hairstyle was a hit,” Pepa remembered. “We still have fans coming up to us saying they shaved off their hair. We brought fashion, fun and femininity to Hip-Hop. “Nowadays everyone has a stylist – we were raw; wearing 8-ball jackets with kente hats and spandex. It’s a quintessential look that everyone loved.”
Said style–mainly the 8-ball–made a tremendous comeback last year, thanks to the group’s widely popular Geico commercial, which juxtaposed their signature hit, “Push It” for the ad. It was a feat in itself that old-school artists, so to speak could become relevant again without forcing new music onto a musical landscape that doesn’t exactly fit their demographic.
Salt-N-Pepa’s entire discography is available on iTunes and Apple Music.