Salt-N-Pepa’s first major hit was the song “Push It,” which had originally been recorded as a B-side. Remixed and released on its own, it caused a sensation in 1988. Soon afterward, they hired Deidra “Spinderella” Roper (now known as Deidra “Dee Dee” Roper) as their new DJ. Their second and third albums, A Salt with a Deadly Pepa and Blacks’ Magic, featured energetic rapping and direct, sometimes provocative language on singles like “Shake Your Thang” and “Let’s Talk About Sex.”
In 1993, James, Denton and Roper released Very Necessary, the most popular album of their careers. With this album, and its hits “Whatta Man” (recorded with the female R&B act En Vogue) and “Shoop,” Salt-N-Pepa proved themselves not only as groundbreaking female figures in rap but also as chart-toppers in the pop music world. Their single “None of Your Business” was awarded a Grammy for Best Rap Performance.
However, Salt-N-Pepa’s album Brand New, released in 1997, was less successful. By this time, the group had begun to suffer some internal stresses. Although they still performed together, the three women began to discuss breaking up. James, in particular, wanted to make changes in her life: She was now a devout Christian (she collaborated on a contemporary gospel recording titled “Stomp” with the singer Kirk Franklin in 1997), and she was struggling with depression and bulimia.
Salt-N-Pepa officially disbanded in 2002. After a few years’ hiatus, James has reunited occasionally with Denton and Roper for Salt-N-Pepa concerts and special events. The three women also appeared together on the reality television series The Salt-N-Pepa Show in 2007-08.
James and her fellow bandmates are still considered groundbreaking figures in the music world of the late 1980s and early 1990s, both for their role as women in rap and for their unprecedented success on both the hip-hop and pop charts.
Washington State Fair is proud to Host I Love The 90’s featuring the Grammy Award-winning hip-hop group Salt-N-Pepa, including Deidra “Dee Dee” Roper, Cheryl “Salt” James and Sandra “Pepa” Denton. The trio released several successful albums in the late 1980s and ’90s, including A Salt with a Deadly Pepa and Blacks’ Magic, which provided such hits as “Let’s Talk About Sex,” “Shoop” and “Whatta Man.”
I LOVE THE 90’S TOUR
with Salt-N-Pepa, Vanilla Ice, Color Me Badd, & Tone Loc
Doors open at 6:30pm