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Salt-N-Pepa’s ‘A Salt With a Deadly Pepa’ Celebrates 25-Year Anniversary

Salt-N-Pepa
Salt-N-Pepa

By the time, Salt-N-Pepa’s second album, ‘A Salt With a Deadly Pepa’ was released on Aug. 2, 1988, it had only been eight months since ‘Push It’ made its way to Top 40 radio. It was clear that the album was a rushed release to ride the success of the hit single, and it was successful in that regard.

Salt-N-Pepa were quintessential performers and the trio’s stage presence is what made them key players in hip-hop during the late ’80s. The video for the lead single, ‘Shake Ya Thing,’ is a clear representation of the group at the time — light, fun and spunky. The visual shows the girls being arrested for dirty dancing and the choreography coupled with clips of them in an interrogation room are, if not iconic, intensively representative of MTV during that era.

The duo’s personality is what carried the album. On ‘Solo Power (Syncopated Soul),’ Pepa claims the mic and delivers with her near-raspy gusto. ‘Solo Power (Let’s Get Paid)’ features the clear and choppy cadence that Salt brought to the table. Their deliveries were unforgettable and the tracks were memorable.

‘I Gotcha’ is fascinating for demonstrating the obvious influence the Beastie Boy’s ‘License to Ill’ (produced by Rick Rubin) was having on hip-hop during this time. The electric guitars in the beginning and throughout were a Rubin signature. The albums sampling of other records was almost a crutch. ‘Get Up Everybody’ samples three records: ‘Up For The Down Stroke’ and ‘All Your Goodies Are Gone’ by Parliament, and ‘Sledgehammer’ by Peter Gabriel.

Even with the album shooting out three semi-successful singles, it was launching ground for ‘Blacks’ Magic’ — when the ladies really came into their own. ‘A Salt With a Deadly Pepa’ was more about Salt-N-Pepa’s incredible showmanship and personality than the lyrics and the beats. They were having a good time and when you popped that cassette in, you were too.

Watch Salt-N-Pepa’s ‘Push It’ Video

Watch Salt-N-Pepa’s ‘Shake Your Thang’ Video

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