Salt-n-Pepa, the female rap duo who broke all kinds of records in the 80’s and 90’s not only for being the precursor to TLC and Lil Kim, but for just being a hugely successful hip-hop group of whatever gender. They had a decisively feminist message that was sex positive and queer-friendly. Then it all came to a screeching halt.
Well the duo can now be seen on VH1 in The Salt-n-Pepa Show, which premiered tonight and traced the duo’s first meeting after many years, and their attempts to reconcile their differences and perhaps ressurect the group. Listening to the opening theme of the show made me realize how much I actually miss their presence on the pop music soundscape. But the show very qucikly cuts to the really intense (and contentious) relationship that broke them up in the first place.
It seems that Cheryl “Salt” Wray had become depressed during the height of their success. She was also a bulemic. She apparently had grown disgusted with the sexual nature of their persona, and just quit the group, and became a born-again Christian, and never looked back.
Sandy “Pepa” Denton was left holding the bag, and a lot of bitterness at the friend and business partner who left her hanging. While most reality shows (for example, I Love NY) have become so fake so as they mught as well be fully scripted, The Salt-n-Pepa Reality show is intense, and seems to be a brutally honest look–not at two washed up stars trying to eek out the last drop of celebrity–but of two friends struggling to understand the path that led to their relationship’s destruction, and the path to rebuilding it. Of course the situation is set-up, the cameras are there to catch all this drama of course, but the emotion is completely honest. Watching it, I can think of friends and family members whom I could very easily be having this conversation with.
This, methinks, is the one to watch this season.