Salt-n-Pepa: The First Ladies of Hip-Hop

Salt-n-Pepa’s “Legends of Hip-Hop Tour” comes to Richmond Friday night.

They are pushing it again.

The Grammy-Award winning, self-proclaimed First Ladies of Hip-Hop, Salt-n-Pepa, will bring their Legends of Hip-Hop Tour to the Richmond Coliseum on Friday, March 25. And their mega hit "Push It" will surely be heard.

Performing with them are fellow ’80s and ’90s rap artists Biz Markie, Naughty By Nature, Doug E Fresh and MC Lyte with their biggest hits.

Salt-n-Pepa has been performing for 26 years with the same lineup. The famous rap group is composed of Cheryl James-Wray ("Salt"), Sandra Denton ("Pepa") and Deidra "Dee-Dee" Roper ("Spinderella") and first gained notice in 1985 with their album "The Showstopper," which featured their hit single, "The Show."

But it wasn’t until a year later, when the group would gain worldwide superstardom with the release of its album "Hot, Cool & Vicious," which featured the group’s first platinum single, "Push It." The song went on to be nominated for a Grammy and sold over 1 million copies.

"I can recall images of fall formals at college or of cheesy beach bars and a gang of girls rushing to the dance floor whenever the DJ played ‘Push It,’" said Richmond fan Gena Reeder. "And yes, I suppose I was mixed in that crowd more than a few times."

"That song is still popular today and it’s been like, what, 20 years now?" said Kyle Farrell, who went to his first Salt-n-Pepa concert in the mid ’90s and plans to attend the show this month.

But "Push It" wasn’t the group’s only hit song.

"‘Whatta man’ was another big hit they had," said Farrell.

"I still love their song ‘Shoop’," said Chester resident Niki Williamson. "And know most of the words, still, after all these years."

From 1988 to 1997 the trio produced four albums, two of which earned gold ("A Salt with a Deadly Pepa" and "Brand New"), while the other two albums earned platinum ("Blacks’ Magic" and "Very Necessary").

It wasn’t until 1999 that the group slowly started disbanding. Pepa went on to marry rapper Treach of Naughty By Nature (they later divorced in July 2001). Salt got married in 2000. Two years later, Salt later decided to quit the group.

While the group was separated, Pepa took advantage of the time off to appear on the fifth season of VH1’s "The Surreal Life" as well as write her own book, "Let’s Talk About Pep." Pepa also starred in the reality TV series "Let’s Talk About Pep" on VH1.

Spinderella on the other hand, spent her time as a radio personality in Los Angeles for KKBT 100.3. Today she works at the Dallas soul radio station, KSOC 94.5.

"I know the group broke apart like most groups do, but now they’re launching their tour up again, reinventing themselves," said aspiring rapper Sagar Moktan. "I’m glad they’re doing that. They were a great group then, and are still a great group now."

In 2004, the group performed together for the first time since their split, on VH-1’s "Hip Hop Honors," where they performed "Whatta Man" with En Vogue. In 2007, the group officially reformed and starred in its own reality-TV show on VH-1 called "The Salt-n-Pepa Show." The show documented their lives several years after their break-up.

The group’s show in Richmond will be its 18th performance in the past two months. "The Legends of Hip-Hop Tour" began Feb. 4 in Cleveland and will be ending April 9 in Milwaukee.

"I’m definitely going to the Hip-Hop tour," said Moktan. "I have a lot of respect towards them, because they are one of the best women rap groups ever."

Tickets have already started selling fast and range from $39.50 to $49.50. For more information on the show or getting tickets, go to snpledgendsofhiphop.com or richmondcoliseum.com.

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