Hip-Hop Legends Salt-N-Pepa Reflect On Their Illustrious Careers And The Smash Hits That Made Them Famous On Today’s “Tamron Hall”

On today’s special “Road Trip with Tamron to Los Angeles” edition of “Tamron Hall,” Tamron met up with iconic Hip-Hop duo Salt-N-Pepa for a daytime exclusive interview. The pair, made up of Cheryl “Salt” James and Sandra “Pepa” Denton, sat down with Tamron on the 50th anniversary of Hip-Hop to discuss their legendary, trailblazing careers and the struggles and triumphs they endured that paved the way for future female artists. Salt-N-Pepa dished about the “making of” some of their smash hits like “What a Man” and “Shoop” and discussed the difficulties of juggling motherhood and blossoming careers and how they proved their non-believers wrong. Additionally, the duo attempted to teach Tamron the iconic “Push It” choreography. See the video clip inside…

Salt-N-Pepa’s Cheryl James reveals the shocking thing she was asked for the sake of her career: 

They [the record labels] do get scared. I was actually – I don’t think I’ve ever said this outloud – but I was asked to have an abortion. I won’t say by who but to your point, yeah, you just have to know that it’s something that you’re capable of handling, if you want a kid and you want to have a career and it’s definitely harder. Having my daughter was, besides finding Jesus, was the best thing that I’ve ever experienced is my kids. Like I needed that little baby in my life. You know, she kept me company on the road.”

Salt-N-Pepa talk their classic hit “What a Man”: 

“I mean it was also our tribute to good men. Like you know because we tend to male bash a little bit with ‘Tramp’ and you know different songs we put out, ‘Tongue and Cheeky,’ like kind of objectifying the guys and ‘Shoop’ and you know. So ‘What a Man’ was just our tribute to the good fathers, the good husbands, the mentors, and you know, the teachers, the providers, the protectors. It was like an anthem for what we would want in our lives and being able to verbalize that.”

Salt-N-Pepa talk about their smash hit “Shoop” and the high expectations they faced as female artists:

Tamron asks what Salt-N-Pepa had to bring to beat the odds. Salt responds “Excellence, like consistency. Being authentic. Remember reinventing ourselves. Being innovative.”Tamron steps in to ask “What was the biggest reinvention?” Salt responds, “‘Shoop.’ That ‘Shoop’ look. Yes, that was a reinvention for that video for us. I can’t fit that little thing over one boob now, child. I pulled it out of the drawer the other day and it was like this big. I’m like, how the heck did I get in that thing? So we were feeling ourselves. So this is one of our great reinventions. Plus, the song ‘Shoop’ is a song that Pep brought to me and we wrote together. It was the first song on the ‘Very Necessary’ album. We had to fight to get that song to be the first. [The fight] it was with the record company, not respecting what we thought about our own careers. We thought – we knew this was a great song, and it should kick off that album.”

Salt opens up about her difficult divorce and being in her self-love era:

“Love yourself is really cliche but there’s so many levels to learning what that means, you know. Like I’ve been, I got divorced in 2018 and I haven’t been on a date since, child. Isn’t that crazy? But it just dawned on me it’s not just the pampering, the facials, the massage, the vacating the, you know, prayer and meditation and things to keep your stress down but also just giving yourself that internal validation, right. And not looking outside of you for validation. Like you have the ability to validate yourself, right. And also separating yourself from relationships that aren’t good for you. You know, I think we linger on stuff like way too long, and just part of self love, I’m discovering, is to put up boundaries, you know, around toxic relationships and knowing your value and your worth when it comes. That’s probably why I haven’t had a date because I know my worth…But I’ve also been healing. I’ve been really focused on healing too. I’m not pressed.  Just healing from you know, my breakup was very traumatic. My divorce took four years. I thought I was gonna have my family together forever. So it was really dark, you know? So I’m in therapy. And I’ve never really consistently done therapy before. So I’ve been doing that and just figuring out why I was in that position in the first place. Right like your self esteem. Taking responsibility, accountability, all that good stuff and just changing my environment, you know, and making my 50’s my best ever.”


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