SALT N PEPA - SHOWSTOPPERS: As a group Salt N Pepa have far more HipHop significance because of their presence in the mid to late ‘80s than for their artistry on the mic. Sure, they had more than a few hits, and even a couple of classics, “Tramps,” and “Push It,” but HipHop history will undoubtedly see them as the first female crew to break big and bring distinctly feminine voices, views, opinions and styles to the male-dominated genre.

Their easy-going, fun-spirited, party raps don’t hold lyrical weight against many of their contemporaries like MC Lyte and Queen Latifah, nor others who would come later; Rah Digga, Bahamadia, Medusa, etc.

But Salt N Pepa’s music is not to be discounted altogether, despite their formation as a school project for producer Hurby Azor, who wanted to make a response record to Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh’s “The Show.” If you look at the group’s early album credits, Azor is credited with most of the songwriting – Another no-no if you want to be taken seriously as an emcee.

It wasn’t until the group’s third, and arguably best, album Blacks’ Magic that they truly hit their stride and put together a complete album, one without the blatant attempts at mass appeal that made the previous albums sound disjointed.

With this piece, I wanted to capture the early Salt N Pepa most of us came to know by way of the “Push It” video, where they rocked the Spandex, the oversized jackets, gold chains, and the kufi-style hats with the African prints.

The featured verse is taken from the Blacks’ Magic cut “Doper than Dope.” It took me a while to figure out where the lyrics should fall in relation to the rest of the art. After a while, I thought about shortening the verse, but doing that didn’t provide the same impact as the full version, which captures the same classic Salt N Pepa style: Sexy, sassy, flirtatious, confrontational.

3-2-1 break down get broke up / Cuz you started speaking when you shouldn’t have spoke up

You went the wrong way, you shouldn’t have tried / To dis Salt N Pepa, cuz half-steppers getting’ fried

Cuz these females and 5 minutes of beats / Is all it takes for us to take control 7 days a week

You’re wack, stick to your skeezin’ please / And let’s not waste time on the weak emcees

Cuz they’re unreal, and we’re the real deal / Cuz we reveal the real sex appeal

Yo fellas you want some? Come and get some / Doper than dope rhymes, so I can hit some

Musical notes that can hypnotize / Keep your eyes on the lips, hips, and thighs

Try to concentrate on the whole scenery / Cuz this is Salt and the Pepa MC.