If “I can do this rap game just as good or better than the boys were people,” the two, bad-ass women I would direct you to would be hip-hop pioneers and game changers, Sandra “Pepa “ Denton and Cheryl “Salt” James of the Grammy Award Winning Group Salt-N-Pepa.
Lifetime Network is taking us on a journey of groundbreaking women for two, consecutive weekends, starting on January 23 with the Salt-N-Pepa story. They’re exposing us to prominent, powerful, Black women who were shattering glass ceilings to prove that women can do anything men can do. Through their Lifetime Movie Biopic; the iconic, female, rap group take us on a journey that starts out as two girls who weren’t rappers, but were willing to do anything that would positively improve their current situations. Who knew that two girls from New York, who knew nothing about the music industry would kick down the doors of the music industry to let everyone know that females were here to stay, and make a significant mark on the hip-hop game.
This movie takes us to the 80s, the decade of fly fashion, hair, and of course, music. Salt-N-Pepa stepped into the game, just as a way to help out Salt’s boyfriend; who later became a famous music producer and went on to produce the duo for many years. After gaining success from their diss record “The Showstopper,” which was a response to Doug E. Fresh’s “The Show;” the duo realized that they should take this “music thing” seriously, and decided to leave college on the back burner for where music could take them. Throughout this amazing film, a series of events show us how the ladies were molded into the women, mothers, friends, and moguls they are today.
The movie also has lighter sides, revealing moments in time that we all might not have previously known of. Some, may make us laugh; such as finding Salt, Pep, Martin Lawrence, and Kid’ n Play all worked together at a Sears call center. We learn how the infamous asymmetric hair cuts were born, and that their certified, platinum song “Push It” was recorded in a bathroom! “WOW,” is all I can say!
Salt-N-Pepa were gamechangers, selling over a million records worldwide, and became the first, female, rap group to go Number One in Germany and Australia. The duo also used their music to influence young women; showing women that confidence is all you need. Their music influence didn’t just stop there. Their music forced the public to speak about the AIDS pandemic that was killing people at an alarming rate.
All relationships suffer sometimes, and you’re only able to recover depending on how you approach the situation. The movie shows us a few, different relationships; starting with Salt’s relationship with food, Peps tumultuous relationship with her ex, Treach, and finally the relationship between Salt and Pep and how sometimes you might love someone, but a break might be essential for your peace of mind
Cheryl and Sandra kicked down the doors for all female rappers as a whole, but also for female rappers to take charge of their own music, be unapologetic, still birth babies and still be bosses, and openly rap about what you want without feeling “boxed in.” They did this, all while bringing fun, fashion, and femininity to the game.
This movie was given life due to the amazing talents of the lead actress GG Townson and Laila Odom; the ladies undeniably did Cheryl and Sandra justice when they took on these roles. The ladies recently sat down in a press junket to discuss the multiple layers in the film.
When asked what they hoped young women would take away from the film, both ladies gave extraordinary answers. Townson said, “Stand in your integrity and do what serves you. Don’t do what other people want you to do, because you can’t pour into anyone’s cup if yours is empty.” Odom followed up by saying, “Young women look within, because sometimes we look for validation from men; like sis, you already got it! It’s in all of us. You already have it, you just have to tap into it.”
While dropping gems, there was one in particular that resonated; especially for current female rappers on the scene, who may not be aware of Salt and Pep’s woes… being well-informed about their business full circle. Townson said “It’s important for black women to really take back the reigns of their careers and what they have going on; don’t leave it to someone else to do it for them. Really sit, and be Beyonce like… make sure everything comes over your desk before saying ‘okay’.”
Lastly, the ladies reveled that they were so invested in this film, that while reading their script they would take it upon themselves to make sure the writers were authentic and that the facts were on point. Townson said, “We were attached; me and Laila were literally in our scripts, fact checking hairstyles to years and decades. Mind you, this is not our job, but we were so invested in making sure that every timeline added up, and that everything just meshed perfectly.”
The film undoubtedly meshed well; this must-see movie is worthy of a lady’s movie night. If you are like me, and didn’t know much about Salt-N-Pepa, you will be intrigued and by the end find yourself downloading Salt-N-Pepa to your playlist. If you grew up on Salt-N-Pepa, get ready to reminisce! Either way, we pulling up with the gold, door-knocker earrings, one-piece spandex, leather jackets, and if you’re bold enough sis, rock an asymmetric doo!
GG Townson and Laila Odom star in Salt-N-Pepa premiering January 23rd at 8pm ET/PT on Lifetime.
Followed by: LET’S TALK ABOUT SALT-N-PEPA – JANUARY 23 – 11PM
“After 35 years, the reigning Queens of Hip Hop are still going strong. Salt-n-Pepa sit down for a fun and intimate discussion about what makes their iconic partnership work, how these two very different personalities find the delicate balance to keep it going, and how their pioneering style continues to influence the music world today. Hosted by Loni Love, the special is packed with never-before heard stories about their lives and careers and share exclusive BTS footage, with a few surprises and special guests along the way! Salt-N-Pepa Interview Special is produced by A&E Originals with Ted Butler as executive producer”.