Salt-N-Pepa Salutes Music Industry’s ‘Strong Women’ at Walk of Fame Star Ceremony
Salt-N-Pepa praised the “strong women” who came before them in the music industry as they were honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The all-female rap trio shed light on those who had “endured misogyny…but somehow found a way to persevere” in a male-dominated field at the ceremony in Los Angeles on Thursday.
Known as the first ladies of hip-hop, Salt-N-Pepa are considered pioneers of the genre, bringing fun, fashion and femininity to hip-hop.
The group consists of Cheryl “Salt” James, Sandra “Pepa” Denton and Deidra “DJ Spinderella” Roper.
They had major success in the 1990s with their album Very Necessary, which had two top five hits, Shoop and Whatta Man, and went five times platinum.
But it was the track None Of Your Business that won them the Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group in 1995.
Salt-N-Pepa was joined by fellow rappers MC Lyte and Roxanne Shante, who spoke ahead of the presentation.
In the first of three separate speeches, Salt said: “Obviously I can’t thank everyone because there are too many people who have contributed to our career, from the women who have come before us…to our peers and all the strong women who have been so supportive in this industry.
“Women who have endured misogyny in this industry but somehow find a way to persevere, but the women behind the scenes who never shine, the women who are overlooked and underappreciated, keep pushing.”
Pepa added that she was “at a loss for words” and the moment was “bittersweet” as her late father was not there to see the success he inspired.
“He was like, you have to be strong, you have to surpass in life, be accomplished. And so when he passed away, that’s all I could think of,” she said.
She added: “You know, with the fight for a woman in a male-dominated field to this day…we stay true, we stay focused on what you can do.
“It went against all odds, against all the trials and tribulations, turbulence, and that’s what it is, you stay focused on the high score, keep going.”
DJ Spinderella said Salt-N-Pepa’s music was “a movement felt globally”.
“Women everywhere have been forever inspired, changed by the message of strength and independence,” she said.
“And what this message has done for you, it has also done for me.”
Salt-N-Pepa met while a student at Queensborough Community College in Bayside, Queens, New York, where they created a diss track that became a local hit.
Soon after, DJ Spinderella joined the duo as the official DJ.
Raised in Brooklyn, New York and only 16 at the time, Spinderella is considered hip-hop’s most famous female DJ.
Among their many accomplishments, the group became the first female rap group to go gold and then platinum.
They became, along with Queen Latifah, the first female MCs to win a Grammy and became international superstars, taking hip-hop from Russia to Australia.
1993’s album Very Necessary is still the best-selling album of all time by any female rap artist.
Their star is the 2,738th on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and is awarded in the recording category.