They were the first all-female rap crew, emerging in the late 1980s with “Show Stopper,” an answer to Dougie Fresh’s smash hit, “The Show.” They weren’t just the first, Salt-N-Pepa were pioneers who showed the industry that women were more than just window dressing or a gimmick. Cheryl James (Salt) and Sandy Denton (Pepa), established a standard with their string of hits, including “Push It,” “Shake Your Thang,” “Shoop,” and “Whatta Man,” and a social responsibility that paved the way for the likes of TLC, En Vogue, and others.
Who wasn’t down with “O.P.P.” in the early ’90s? Even those who weren’t born when Naughty By Nature stormed out of East Orange, NJ onto the world stage know their songs. “O.P.P,” “Hip-Hop Hooray,” “Uptown Anthem,” and “Feel Me Flow” helped shape the beginning of a unified Hip-Hop Nation.
Selling over 4 million albums combined, they received a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album, an American Music Award for Best New Rap Group and a Source Award for New Artist of the Year. Treach, Vin Rock and DJ Kay Gee’s most recent single is “Get to Know Me Better.”
Ricky M. L. Walters, known as Slick Rick, was born in London, England to Jamaican parents and moved with his family to the Bronx in 1975, where he started winning nearly every MC battle contest he entered. He and Doug E. Fresh released the single “The Show and La Di Da Di” in 1985.
n 1988, Slick Rick’s debut solo album The Great Adventures of Slick Rick hit number one on the Billboard R&B/hip-hop charts and was one of the first hip hop records to go platinum, as did his most recent album, 1999’s The Art of Storytelling.