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Salt N Pepa Talks Career Highlights Ahead Of ASCAP Award

Salt N Pepa Discuss Female Empowerment In Hip-Hop: "When The Odds Are Still Against You, It Can Be Done"

by Mel D. Cole-25
Salt N Pepa perform with The Roots in Central Park (Photo by Mel D. Cole for Okayplayer)

Hip-hop legends Salt N Pepa will get the overdue props they most definitely deserve Wednesday night when the American Society of Compers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) highlights their achievement during its seventh annual Women Behind the Music series in New York City. The trailblazing duo of Cheryl “Salt” James and Sandra “Pepa” Denton will also be marking 30 years in the music business this year, and can now look back on a career devoted to funky music and the empowerment of women across all strata of the industry. “[W]e pioneered and did this damn thing for women and music. Period. It can be done,” Denton told Billboard in a new interview. “Even in such a male-dominated world, when the odds are still against you, it can be done.”

James added: “Ditto that and also two more words: Female empowerment.” The two also stressed that they’re still constantly discussing the underrepresentation of women in hip-hop and looking for new acts to challenge the status quo. “If there isn’t a male stamp on somebody, basically the world–record companies, the establishment–are not convinced,” James said. “Pep and I feel that talent, perseverance, hard work and believing in what you do will always make the difference no matter what anyone thinks. That’s the passion I felt: It was do this or die. I had no plan B.”

From their trade secrets for career longevity to their upcoming plans to produce a cooking show, Salt N Pepa’s talk with Billboard is a bonafide must-read for all. Check it out over on Billboard.


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