Where are all of my Salt-N-Pepa fans? Last week I had the opportunity to be apart of a private screening thanks to Nissan Diversity. The movie starts off by taking you through an intimate journey of how the group started. I had no idea that friend Cheryl James and Sandra Denton eventually came together while selling warranties on washing machines from a Sears call center in Queens, New York as a hip-hop duo called Super Nature with the staccato 1985 track “The Show Stoppa (Is Stupid Fresh).” Once the duo’s song was heard on the radio it was the start of their career taking off at rapid speed. The groups name soon changes, James became Salt and Denton became Pepa; the group changed its name and scored 10 hits on the Hot 100, including the ’80s dance classic “Push It” and the ’90s sex anthem “Shoop,” becoming one of the few superstar female acts of hip-hop’s male-dominated golden era. In the Biopic, “Salt-N-Pepa” stars G.G. Townson as Cheryl “Salt” James, Laila Odom as Sandra “Pepa” Denton and Monique Paul as DJ Spinderella.
As a woman who grew up in this era it appeared that their success was an overnight dream come true. Honestly until watched their biopic I was still under that impression. I knew that the group had its share of problems including and eventual split but the movie showcases their lives in more intimate way. In my opinion the movie provides an inside peek at their life up close and personal.
As I watched the BIOPIC is was apparent that Salt N Pepa were like night and day. Salt is more of the Introvert and calm while Pepa is the extrovert….all out and about. In a nutshell these ladies were amazing and managed to maneuver a space for two women in a male-dominated industry who were friends first, who became business partners, who faced a lot of struggles to be heard, to be taken seriously. They survived so many struggles including those from the record company as well as their producer Hurby.
The movie takes you through the start of the group, the recruitment of 15-year-old deejay Deidra Roper (Monique Paul), motherhood and heartbreak. I enjoyed that the movie shows you aspects of things that happened behind the scenes of the asymmetrical ‘dos and iconic oversized “Push It” jackets bobbing and bopping on stage which also included James’ struggle with bulimia and balancing her faith in Christ with the salacious lyrics of the group’s biggest hits, and Denton’s own battles with impulsivity, self-harm and her husband Anthony “Treach” Criss’ (Jermel Howard) abuse. In a nutshell to sum it up these women were the “First Ladies of Rap” but was also women in life having a real life experience. I think so many times people get caught up in the hype, glitz and glam but forget that these are simply normal people living their extraordinary life. They do touch on a few view points about Spinderella but I also know that it’s a touchy conversation and of course everyone has their opinion. Do yourself a favor and watch the movie.