Thursday, March 16, 2023

Salt-N-Pepa Share Exclusive Stories Behind Their Iconic ‘Shoop’ Track

Having sold over 15 million records around the world and eternalising themselves as one of the first-ever female acts to win a Grammy Award, hip hop trailblazers of the 90's Salt-N-Pepa have excited fans by taking them behind the scenes of their iconic track ‘Shoop’. The group combines the talents of rappers Cheryl James (Salt) and Sandra Denton (Pepa) with the production stylings of Deidra Roper (DJ Spinderella).

Having entered the scene in 1986 with their debut album ‘Hot, Cool & Vicious’, featuring the beloved track ‘Push It’, the trio grew attention for their feminist lyrical approach to a male-dominated rap field while helping to bring underground hip hop to more American audiences.

Whilst having an extensive discography spanning over three decades, the track ‘Shoop’ from their fourth album ‘Very Necessary’ has trademarked itself as one of their biggest releases, with over 180 million streams on Spotify to date. 

Enriched with proactive verses of “You make me / wanna scream” and flirtations referencing to sex in the repeated statement of “Shoop” in the chorus, the record is packed with suggestive lyrics which pioneered women rapping about sex and relationships for their own desires.

In collaboration with Vevo, Salt-N-Pepa has taken listeners behind the meaning of their seminal track ‘Shoop’ ahead of the milestone 50th anniversary of hip hop, whilst discussing why the song continues to empower and resonate with listeners today.

Pepa stated “The concept for ‘Shoop’ started with me chillin’ in Queens, riding around in the car and I’m telling the story of how ‘I saw a brother, I had to kick it to, I’m not shy so I asked for the digits and that does not make me a hoe.’ This story became the song and the inspiration for the first verse”.

Taking a female-centered approach to lyricism, the group aimed to displace the objectification of women which was embedded into many hip-hop records of the time by comically turning this same gaze to men.

Pepa continued “The objective was to turn the tables on men – make them the objects. When writing my verses, I was thinking of tongue in cheek ways to objectify men. When you really like a song, it’s easy to record”.

Salt-N-Pepa remain a feminist powerhouse across music charts today and have eternalised themselves as the First Ladies of Hip Hop.

The 50th anniversary of hip hop is an event celebrating the pioneers of the genre across the last five decades, starting from the birth of hip hop in 1970s New York City house party settings. The celebration is being led by ambassadors and rappers Ice-T and Mysonne, with the aim to reflect on artistry and cultural legacy within the genre whilst creating a sustainable future for emergent artists. The 50th anniversary will take place on August 11 2023.


Alanya Smith




Image: ‘Very Necessary’ Official Album Cover


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