Our Top 10 Salt-N-Pepa Songs list takes a look at one of the best female rap groups in the business today. They have sold over 15 million records in their career. They are one of the best-selling rap acts regardless of gender. They are one of the first female rap acts to win a Grammy Award. They are considered the first ladies of rap in hip hop music.
The group consists of members Salt (Cheryl James) and Pepa (Sandra Denton). Salt-N-Pepa met each other in college while they were studying nursing. After they graduated college, they got jobs in a retail store. One of their co-workers, Hurby “Luv Bug” Azor, wanted them to record a song for his project for school. It became a single called “The Show Stoppa.” After the single was released, they paired up with DJ Latoya Hanson in 1985. The single received a lot of airplay and was a minor hit.
They released their first album Hot, Cool & Vicious in 1986. The album peaked at number 26 on Billboard 200 and number seven on the r&b charts. It features the singles “The Show Stopper,” “I’ll Take Your Man,” “Tramp,” “My Mic Sounds Nice” and “Push It.” “Push It” helped the album reach platinum status. The album sold over one million copies. This album made them the first female rap group to have a platinum selling album.
Salt-N-Pepa dealt with a member change in 1987. Latoya Hanson left the group in 1987. DJ Deidra Roper aka Spinderella joined the group just before they released their second album. They released their second album A Salt with a Deadly Pepa in 1988. The album peaked at number 38 on Billboard 200 and number eight on the r&b charts. It features the hit singles “Shake Your Thang,” “Get Up Everybody (Get Up)” and “Twist and Shout.” The album sold over 500,000 copies.
In 1990, Salt-N-Pepa released their third album Blacks’ Magic. The album peaked at number 38 on Billboard 200 and number 15 on the r&b charts. The album features the hit singles “Let’s Talk About Sex,” “Expression,” “Independent,” “Do You Want Me” and “You Showed Me.” The album sold over one million copies.
They released their groundbreaking fourth album Very Necessary in 1993. This is their best selling album. It features the singles “Shoop,” “Whatta Man,” “None of Your Business” and “Heaven ‘n Hell. The album peaked at number four on the pop charts and number six on the r&b charts. The album sold over five million copies. The group won their first Grammy for this album.
They released their fifth album Brand New in 1997. The album didn’t receive promotion so they had to tour in order to promote the album. The album features the singles “R U Ready” and “Gitty Up.” The album peaked at number 37 on Billboard 200 and number 16 on the r&b charts. The album sold over 500,000 copies.
Salt-N-Pepa released a greatest hits album in 2000. Since they didn’t have any albums they had to do, Salt left the group in 2002. She was done with the music business and decided to quit the group. She planned to release a solo album, but it didn’t happen. She ended up changing her style and switched to gospel music. Pepa made appearances on reality shows. Spinderella had her own radio show. The group decided to get back together after they performed at the Hip Hop Honors show in 2005. Spinderella ended up getting fired in 2019 after the group was on tour. She was replaced with DJ Cocoa Chanelle.
Salt-N-Pepa made history by being one of the first female rap artists to go platinum. There weren’t too many female rap artists around when they debuted. They weren’t afraid to push the envelope with their songs. They talked about subjects that others didn’t want to discuss. As a result, they had successful singles and albums. This Top 10 Salt-N-Pepa Songs list will feature some of their hit singles.
# 10 – Do You Want Me
Let’s start our Top 10 Salt-N-Pepa Songs list with “Do You Want Me” from the Blacks’ Magic album. The sexy “Do You Want Me” has a hip-hop and r&b sound. This is a female anthem about them wanting a guy to be with them as more than just a lover. This song has a great and empowering message about wanting to be in a relationship for more than just sex. They want to be loved for their minds instead of their bodies, which is unusual for them because they usually rap about wanting to have sex. This catchy song is told from two points of view.
Salt is doing the majority of the rhymes in this song. She is rapping about wanting respect in a relationship. She doesn’t want to be seen as just a sex object. Hurby “Luv Bug Azor is telling the story from the man’s perspective. He wants to be the guy she likes. They sample James Brown’s “Say It Loud – I’m Black And I’m Proud for the track. The music fits because it gives it a sexy beat. Salt and Azor were dating when they released this song so it was ironic that they would take the lead on a song like this.
# 9 – Get Up Everybody (Get Up)
The next song on our Top 10 Salt-N-Pepa Songs list is “Get Up Everybody (Get Up) from the A Salt with a Deadly Pepa album. This party song has an r&b and soul sound. This is an energetic song about partying regardless of the type of music you want to hear. It is basically about creating unity among different people. The song is aggressive and hardcore. The funky beat is tailor made for dancing. They sampled Parliament’s “All Your Goodies Are Gone” for this track. The drumbeat is excellent. The piano is fire. The music will please fans of hip-hop and dance music. They made sure to provide something for everyone in this track. Salt-N-Pepa’s rhymes are impressive. They are really aggressive while they are rhyming. It’s an underrated song that is overshadowed by their other hit songs.
# 8 – My Mic Sounds Nice
This hardcore song is from their Hot, Cool & Vicious album. This has an r&b and hip-hop sound. This is an influential song about them talking about their mic skills. They wanted the world to take notice that they were skillful on the mic. During the time when this song was released, rap and hip-hop was a predominantly male field. They wanted the world to know that they can rap just as well as guys. They proved that they could do it with this track. They sound as if they have been rhyming for years. You would never know that this is one of their earlier hit singles. It is a little dated compared to their other hit songs, but it still showcases their talent on the mic. They have excellent timing with their skills. They were in sync throughout the song. They never missed a beat with each other. This song doesn’t have a chorus like most of their other tracks, but it doesn’t hurt the song. It does have a good beat so you can move around to it.
# 7 – None of Your Business
This innovative song is from their Very Necessary album. This song has a hip-hop sound. This is an anthemic song that discourages shaming people for being sexually active. People had a problem with women talking about sex when this song was released. Salt-N-Pepa showed that it was okay to talk about sex. They didn’t care what people thought about them wanting to have sex. They thought women should be free to do what they want without people judging them. This song is still relevant today since women are constantly judged for being promiscuous. The message in this song doesn’t have to be about sex. It can be about you doing what you want without judgment. They are pioneers on being free to do what you want with your body. The music gives the song a gangster rap sound. The funky guitar is perfect for people who want to play air guitar.
# 6 – Tramp
This ingenious song is from their Hot, Cool & Vicious album. This song has a hip-hop and rap sound. This is a cutting edge song about men being tramps. This is a reversal because women were usually referred to as tramps. Salt-N-Pepa turned things around and referred to men as tramps. They took a chance doing something like this because they were in a male dominated genre and it could have backfired on them. Instead, the song went on to be a huge hit for the group. They set up an excellent story about men and their cheating ways. The role reversal was a great change because at the time this song was released, women weren’t telling stories like this. If it weren’t for Salt-N-Pepa, other acts wouldn’t have been able to be bold enough to do songs like this. Lyrically this song may be offensive to men, but it’s empowering to women.
# 5 – Push It
The next song on our Top 10 Salt-N-Pepa Songs list is the hugely popular “Push It” from their Hot, Cool & Vicious album. This song has a hip-hop, pop and rap sound. This is the song that helped launch Salt-N-Pepa’s career. This is their most famous song. This is a misleading song about dancing. Most people think this is a sexual track, but it really isn’t. The title and some of the lyrics make the song appear to be sexual, but if you pay attention to the song, it’s not sexual. It’s about dancing. The song doesn’t really contain many lyrics. It mostly consists of music.
Here is some trivia about the song. Salt-N-Pepa don’t consider this one of the their favorite songs. It was just a B-Side so they didn’t care for the song. It’s hard to believe that they didn’t like this song because it’s one of their signature songs. The song has a fantastic synthesizer that will hook you instantly. There is no way to sit still through this track. It will have you dancing immediately. The song has been given a new life because it has appeared in different TV shows and movies.
# 4 – Let’s Talk About Sex
“Let’s Talk About Sex” has a social message about the dangers of having unprotected sex. The inspiring song has a hip-house, dance, pop and rap sound. The music is a sample from The Staple Singers’ hit “I’ll Take You There.” It was a different choice to use that track as a sample, but it worked. The lyrics to the song are meaningful. The group talked about something that other artists basically shied away from until TLC released “Waterfalls.” Salt-N-Pepa told the story from another person’s point of view. It was told in a few parts. In the first part, they weren’t sure if they should talk about sex or not. In the second part, they decided to take the chance and talk about it. The third part is a story about a woman who had unprotected sex and got a disease because of it. It was a creative way to reach out to their fans about the dangers of having unprotected sex.
# 3 – Shoop
This racy song is from the Very Necessary album. This has a hip-hop beat. This is a sexually explicit track about their men pleasing them sexually. The music keeps the song from sounding too graphic. The music is infectious. The beat is rhythmic and swaggering. This song is excellent to dance to and great for the club scene. Salt-N-Pepa sound flirtatious and confident while they are describing the men they are having sex with in the song. This is a creative title for sex. They pushed the envelope with this song because male rappers usually did explicit songs like this when this song was released. Salt-N-Pepa alternate with the verses in this track. They are flattering their men and they are descriptive on what they want their men to do. Salt holds back more with her verses. She is timid yet descriptive about what she wants her man to do with her. Pepa is more aggressive with what she wants her man to do.
# 2 – Independent
This empowering song is from the Blacks’ Magic album. This song has an r&b and soul sound. This is a feminist song about them not needing a man to take care of them. They want everyone to know that they are independent women. This song has a strong message for women who take care of themselves and don’t rely on other people to take care of them. Salt-N-Pepa sound passionate in their verses. They want the world to know that men wouldn’t dominate them. They sound determined and strong throughout their rhymes. R&b singer Sybil sings the hook in this track. She sounds amazing in her vocals. She sells the song. She belts throughout the chorus as well as hold impressive notes. She is one of the best parts of the song. She helps make the song memorable with the catchy hook.
# 1 – Whatta Man ft. En Vogue
The number one song on our Top 10 Salt-N-Pepa Songs list is the romantic “Whatta Man” from the Very Necessary album. This is a celebratory song about the good men of the world. They talk about what they love about the good man. Salt-N-Pepa and En Vogue are an unlikely pair because they are from two different genres, but they make this song work. Lyrically this is a different song for Salt-N-Pepa because they are usually bashing men in their songs. It was a nice change of pace for them to do a positive song about the men in their lives. En Vogue do a great job in the background. They sound harmonious together. They make the song sound romantic. Salt-N-Pepa keep their hard edge in their verses as they praise their men. The music is sexy and seductive. It is a good accompaniment for the subject of the song. It is easy to see why this song was a big hit for both groups.