Salt-N-Pepa at James L. Knight Center February 11

If you can believe it, there was a time, i.e. back in the day, when a female with a microphone could be cute, dirty, sexy, funny, and smart. This was before Lil Kim and the boom of the MC slut. And back then, the undisputed rap scene queens were the ladies of Salt-N-Pepa.

Rocking asymmetrical hairdos, classic b-girl gear, and megatons of confidence, Cheryl "Salt" James, Sandy "Pepa" Denton, and Deidre "DJ Spinderella" Roper knocked out a whole string of singsong party tracks — 1986's "Push It," 1990's "Let's Talk About Sex," 1993's "Whatta Man" — that sounded like good times and filthy nursery rhymes. These girls danced like your sister's BFF. They talked like junior feminists from the streets. And they kicked ass on the charts.

It might not have been a more innocent era. But it was definitely way more fun.


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