On Friday night, hip hop legends Salt-N-Pepa delivered a stellar show to a sold-out audience at the Highline Ballroom in New York City. Cheryl "Salt" James, Sandra "Pepa" Denton and Deidra "Spinderella" Roper kept the crowd in a frenzy with songs like "My Mic Sounds Nice," "Let's Talk About Sex" and "R U Ready."
Unbelievably defying age, the trio consistently reminded the audience of their core message — girl power. Pre-TLC or the Spice Girls, the hip hop legends promoted the empowerment of women before it was popular. Over two decades later, they reminded women to believe in themselves over a man even if it gets lonely and, most important, there is nothing wrong with talking about sex! It's easy to forget (as every artist who even remotely talks of "empowerment" is labeled a feminist) Salt-N-Pepa did it first.
Salt, 48, and Pepa, 44, incorporated classics from rock to hip hop, letting the audience know, "this is for the old school." There was a taste of Biz Markie's "Just a Friend," Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit," House of Pain's "Jump" and Beyoncé's "Run the World (Girls)." The addition of the songs were fitting for nostalgia's sake but it was clear the audience would've preferred more of their classics.
A few notable songs were missing, like 1992's "You Showed Me," 1995's "Ain't Nuthin' But a She Thing" and the song that made them the first female rappers to win a Grammy, 1994's "None of Your Business." Fortunately, packs of female fans filled in the gaps after the show, rapping the lyrics on the street and screaming, "If I wanna take a guy home with me tonight / It's none of your business! / And she wanna be a freak and sell it on the weekend / It's none of your business!"
The best moment of the night was Pepa bringing three men on stage to sing "Whatta Man." Salt, who is open about being uncomfortable with some of the lyrics in the song, let Pepa talk the lead as she shook her cakes all over the boys on the stage. Gotta love Pep!
You can't forget Spinderella, who received epic amounts of love from the New York City audience. Salt-N-Pepa just doesn't feel complete without Spinderella on the ones and twos.
The hour-plus set ended with the classic "Push It." Wearing a recreation of the iconic red and yellow leather jackets, Salt-N-Pepa gave their all, transporting us back to the roots of hip hop. Where would hip hop be without the class and edge of Salt-N-Pepa? The original queens of rap proved why they are legends, why the changed the game for music and why they will forever be in the history books.
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(Photo: Johnny Nunez/WireImage)
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