Cheryl James and Sandra Denton are thriving and surviving in what many might perceive as their post hip hop days. The iconic duo is grown, hydrated, moisturized and hip hop as fuck. In fact, Salt-N-Pepa are not just hip hop personified, they are hip hop actualized beyond its wildest dreams.
First, when have Salt or Pep not been “in effect?” Name a time. I’ll wait. Second, in the hip-hop quotable question of the late Christopher Wallace, “Did you ever think hip hop would take it this far?” For women? I don’t think so—but it did. Salt-N-Pepa have been stopping the show since they recorded “The Showstoppa” in response to Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick’s “The Show” in 1985. They’ve given the term “Push It” a whole new meaning as they’ve been “Pushin’ 🅿️“—as in pretty, perfection, poise and hip hop for over 37 years. They continue to do so to this day. MADAMENOIRE had questions for the hip hop’s rap royalty on their past, present and future in the game and the honorable duo obliged.
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MADAMENOIRE: … Did you ever think hip hop would take it this far?
Pepa: No. It was the number one question back then. Will hip hop last? And we didn’t know what we knew as women in the game. It was a male-dominated field. It was odd, but we knew that we had to stay true to this here for us. We were like, ‘Oh shoot, we got to make our mark and against a lot of odds.’ We stayed pushing and we stayed in the fight. We stayed focused, and [for] 2022 to be here with Megan thee Stallion and this generation, a commercial Super Bowl with hip hop.
MADAMENOIRE: … This is huge, right? This Super Bowl spot and this collaboration with Flaming Hot. How did it come to be? Can you answer that?
Salt: Well, when you make timeless music. We say we have a little fairy “Push It” doing the work for us. “Push It” kind of has a mind of its own. Like, it’s just out there working. And when you make music, you would want it to be timeless. You would want 35 years later to be celebrated, to be known by the 90s, 80s babies, millennials. We do our concerts and moms bring their daughters. We even have instances where there’s a grandmother, the mother and the daughter passing on the music and them appreciating it. So we just always feel amazed because it happens so often. This is actually “Push It’s” second Super Bowl debut. In 2014, we did the Geico commercial and it debuted during the Super Bowl which was amazing. And so we just appreciate it because we never really did think that this many years later that we would still be this celebrated and our music.
MADAMENOIRE: Listen, you all are beautiful. And Push-it has aged with much grace I mean, Megan the stallion has literally paid homage to you, to the song. Can you tell me anything about your relationship with Megan?
Pepa: Well, Megan has expressed that she is a fan, and I have a funny story because when I got to meet her … she was presented with the Glamour Woman of the Year award and I presented the award to her and so I remember her mother who had passed away. She’s like my Mama used to say … ‘you need to be like them bitches!’
MADAMENOIRE: Listen, the synergy though, right? … I’m going to just put it out there and that’s for both of you to answer. Just jump right on in. Is it possible that we would get a remix with you all on it?
Salt: Oh, man, I feel like that’s kind of coming in some kind of way because there’s been a lot of synergy with Pepa and Megan over the past couple of maybe the last year or so. It’s like … these things keep happening. So possibly, you never know. It’s going to have to be some grown and sexy business with Salt-N-Pepa because we are women of a certain age.
MADAMENOIRE: When have y’all not been grown and sexy? Seriously, y’all have been the example … So, the tour is coming. Please tell us something about the tour. Something like—what cities are you all hitting? What acts are you all going to involve?
Salt: Taking off May 10, in Cincinnati. It’s a 55-city tour. Rick Ashley, New Kids on the block, they have the block-heads which are their fans. I mean, these dudes go out and people come out to see them. So this is the second go-around with the mixtape tour. We did it in 2019, and now that the world is open, we’ll do it again. We’re excited to perform … but the show is basically like, it’s not like one person goes on … the next act, like we mix it up like a mixture.
Yeah. So it’s really exciting … it’s a 90s experience. That’s how I would sum it up. Instead of us performing for a crowd, we’re all just hanging out together having a 90s block-party performing with the crowd.
MADAMENOIRE: … Pep, tell me your top five hip hop artists.
Pepa: I’m going to definitely love my Biggie, Lil Kim, Missy, all of that and, of course, the new generation. Love my Cardi, Nicki, and Meg …
Salt: I got Tupac, Biggie, Rakim, MC Lyte. I got so many …
MADAMENOIRE: I want to point out you all forgot to put yourselves on the list.
Pepa: That’s right. Thank you.
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