Cheryl “Salt” James and Sandra “Pepa” Denton formulated the now-iconic female hip hop supergroup Salt-N-Pepa in 1985. It took 3 decades, but they are finally getting their flowers via their very own biopic.
Sadly, it seems not everyone will be revelling in the celebrations, as the group’s longtime DJ speaks on social media.
The group took on Deidra “DJ Spinderella” Roper in 1987 as a replacement to Dj Latoya Hanson. A 30-year career/friendship would blossom from the union, leading to massive hit singles such as “Push It” and “Whatta Man.”
Over the last couple of years, things have not been solid with the leading ladies and their DJ. That ultimately culminated in 2019 when Spinderella announced that she was cut from the group.
“…in January 2019 I received a ‘termination’ email from #SaltnPepa excluding me from performances with the group. It was my expectation, after making that decision, that they would also take responsibility for sharing the news with the public and other affected parties.”
A lawsuit followed in July of that year over unpaid royalties. Five months later, the suit was dismissed after a “confidential settlement had been reached.”
Spinderella’s most recent jab came a day before the release of the aforementioned biopic handled by Lifetime and executively produced by the Salt N Pepa duo.
She expressed just how disappointed she felt to discover that ” a decision was made to move forward with a Lifetime biopic that wrongfully excluded me from every aspect of development and production all the while using my image throughout, given that I played an integral role in the group’s story and success.”
The female legend of the 1&2’s highlighted that the move from her former associates is additionally repugnant because the group’s legacy was built on female empowerment, and her exclusion strays from that narrative.
“too often, Black women who have made meaningful contributions in their industry are left out of historical narratives…could not have dreamed that this same group would one day disempower me,” she wrote in her release.
The DJ mentioned that she would continue to empower others through her work and services. “I’m grateful I’ve managed to uphold a 30-year career of truly empowering women with my gift, against all odds. This will continue in my work and in my service.”
Presumably, a huge chunk of the motivation will come through the release of her own project, a memoir that will document her “personal journey navigating through life, relationships, and the industry that raised me. 30+ years is a lot of content and I’m ready to share.”