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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"Whatta Man" feat. En Vogue (1994)

Salt: One thing about Salt-N-Pepa, we've always been quite unaware of how famous we really are.

Pepa: I'm the one that said, "Let's get En Vogue." And they was like, "En Vogue?! We can't get no En Vogue!"

Salt: We were debating on the whole En Vogue thing, and we were like, "Do you think they'll do it?!"

Pepa: And, honey, what a collaboration.

Salt: I think "Whatta Man" was a great song but that visual, with me and Tupac in the bed together. … Oh that was him, honey. [Laughs.] That was him.

Pepa: I was going with Treach at the time. ... Those girls got to pick they man.  … Like, that's a fun time in videos. You get to pick boys. But I had a man, so I was stuck with my man. Cheryl was able to get Tupac! … I mean, I had my Treach, but I'm just saying. That's the fun time! That's when you get to go play! And you don't gotta hide it! [Laughs.]

Salt: First of all, of course, every girl loves Tupac. And I remember my baby daddy at the time was in the room. I had to tell him to leave! [Laughs.] And if you look at that video, I remember it because he was being quite bold, as Tupac of course would be, and I was being really shy. I'm kind of cringing back a couple of times because [shrieking] he's all over me, and we're in the bed together, in front of all these people! It was a great experience, but if I could have it now, I would have been a lot less shy. But yeah, he didn't show his face in the video. And there was some controversy around him at that time, and that actually was a record company decision. I actually called him and apologized, because hearsay is hearsay. We don't know ... a lot of times, it's guilty until proven innocent when it's supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, so that was a little bit hard, not to have his face shown in the video. Which wasn't our choice at that time.

Me and Tupac had a little chemistry, but I knew not to mess with that. I wouldn't have been able to handle that guy! … When we won a Grammy, he sent us, to our hotel room, a cake shaped like a gun. I think it was a Glock. And we didn't know if he was threatening us or congratulating us. [Laughs.]. We were like, "What did we do?" This has to be his way of congratulating us. And it was. But that was such a Tupac thing to do. 

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