Salt-N-Pepa: Our Life in 15 Songs

The hip-hop pioneers tell the stories behind "Push It," "Shoop," Whatta Man" and more

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"Champagne" (1996)

Salt: Pepa, we call 'em "Pepa-isms," you know. Pepa's a talker. And she's Jamaican, so she says funny things a lot. So when I'm with her a lot of times, she'll say something and I'll be like, "That's a song." So it was one of those days. And she was talking about her life and, you know, how fabulous she is, and everybody wants to hang out with her. She was like, "'Cause you know, I got the champagne and the ha ha, right?" And I was like, "Damn, that's a song."

It ended up being for the movie [Bulletproof]. I remember having a conversation with the head of the record company at that particular time, and saying, "Yo, can we push this? Can we put this out as a real single? Like take this seriously and put some weight behind it." And they were like, "Why?" I remember trying to fight to get that song played on the radio and not just have it be part of a movie soundtrack, but, you know, I lost that fight.

It was a changing of the guards time, which Salt-N-Pepa get caught in a lot. Executives start leaving the company and then things start falling through the cracks. It was one of those situations. We were going from one company to another, so nobody really wanted to be bothered at that point. And that's kind of what happened with [final album] Brand New. We didn't really have a real home, and then Hurby wasn't involved, and it was a bad time for Salt-N-Pepa. So that record was never taken seriously at all, or never even attempted to be promoted. 

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