Lost but not least! Salt ‘N’ Pepa – Expression (The Brixton Bass Mix) (FFRR)
‘Push It’, ‘Whatta Man’, ‘Let’s Talk About Sex’… As many gems which contributed getting Queens all female group Salt-N-Pepa to the top of Hip-Hop starting from the second half of the 80’s.
From their 1990 ‘Black Magic’ album, ‘Expression’ featuring Jacci McGhee brought them to the attention of a then UK boiling Acid-Jazz/Rare Groove scene. Hugh Atkins, Pete Trotman and Karl Atkins together as Blacksmith, givin’ it a jazzy cinematic infectious feel. And, in the meantime, delivering one of their best remixes ever…
Unlike what one might think at first sight, Salt’N’Pepa isn’t a pair but a threesome. Cheryl ‘Salt’ James met Sandy ‘Pepa’ Denton while both working at NYC Sears during the mid’80’s. Hurby Luv Bug, a workmate of theirs, who was studying record production at the Center of Media Art, offered them to record for him as a class project. this resulting in the release of Hurby, The Love Bug Present’s Super Nature’s ‘The Show Stoppa (Is Stupid Fresh)’ in late 1985…
They signed to Next Plateau Records the year after. They eventually recruited female high-school student-DJ Deidra Roper (‘Spinderella’) and adopted the stage name Salt’N’Pepa. Their debut-album – ‘Hot, Cool & Vicious’ saw the light a few weeks after, with production work courtesy of Hurby Luv. It generated some moderate R&B hits with cuts such ‘My Mic Sound Nice’, “Tramp”, and ‘Chick On The Side’. But when San Francisco DJ and producer Cameron Paul crafted a remix of ‘Push It’, the flipside of the ‘Tramp’ single, it gave the group their first major hit.
‘A Salt with A Deadly Pepa’ followed in 1988. It spanned the memorable ‘Shake Your Thang’ featuring Go Go band E.U.. The girls makin’ extra noise with ‘Get Up Everybody (Get Up)’ and ‘Twist And Shout’.
‘Blacks’ Magic’, their third album featured no less than 6 hits. From ‘Expression’ which eventually received the remixing treatment courtesy of Blacksmith in the U.K. To ‘I Don’t Know’ (featuring Kid N Play) and ‘Let’s Talk About Sex’ among others.
Released in October 1993, ‘Very Necessary’ marked their absolute peak. Selling more than 11 million copies worldwide. Making them the first female rap act (solo or group) to have a multi-platinum selling album. But also making them the first female Rap Grammy winners with ‘None Of Your Business’. And in the meantime standing as the best selling album by a female Rap act. It spanned the classics ‘Shoop’ and ‘Whatta Man’ featuring En Vogue.
Extra hits would follow in the comin’ years such as ‘R U Ready’ and ‘Gitty Up’, although to a lesser extend. They disbanded back in 1999 and reformed 3 years after.
Diversifying their activities such as the delivery of ‘The Salt-N-Pepa Show’, which premiered on Oct. 14, 2007 on VH1. A reality show documenting the events from the life of the band several years after their breakup. Pepa releasing an autobiography entitled Let’s Talk About Pep’ in August 2008. The girls regularly taking parts of show events. Like ‘Ladies of the 80’s’ with SWV and Lisa Lisa in Honolulu, Hawaii on May 09, 2009. Or the Salt N Pepa’s Legends of Hip-Hop Tour in February 2011 with countless luminaries. From Whodini to Kurtis Blow and Naughty By Nature to name but a very few. Not to mention their participation to the Martin Luther King Jr. Concert Series where they opened for Public Enemy in Brooklyn, NY on Jul. 30, 2012.