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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"Expression" (1989)

Salt: I was [Azor's] girlfriend, so I was always in the studio. I learned a lot watching him and decided that I wanted to do some producing of my own. It was the first song I wrote and produced, and it went Platinum. It was a Platinum Salt-N-Pepa single, which, for me, was insane. I couldn't even believe it. 

Personally, it was me trying to see if what I witnessed and learned was something I could actually implement. And liberation from being Hurby's girlfriend. I wanted to start taking over the voice of Salt-N-Pepa more in the studio – more in control of what we wanted to say. And that might have been because of "Twist and Shout." That might have been a backlash. [Laughs.] I don't know. I just know I had it in me.

Pepa: I was pregnant doing that video. … I remember having a hard time doing the video and I remember Salt having a little "pep" talk with me – literally – like, "Pull it together girl, you could do this." You know, I'm feeling all big and fat and just crazy. I'm usually being sexy or something in the video, and now I know even being pregnant is sexy, but back then, I'm thinking, like, "What?" I didn't feel it at the moment. … She had the little talk with me, and then something just came over me and I just took charge and I owned it, and I killed the video. … Being really pregnant in a video – it wasn't a prop or anything, we weren't acting. And that strength that came from that. I felt really strong. Really strong at that moment. 

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