Salt ‘n’ Pepa Leading in Hip-hop’s Fashion

She had the Salt ‘n’ Pepa look with the leather hat, the slanted bob haircut and the back shaven with the letters RUDE cut in. Like many teenagers in the late eighties and early nineties, she was one of Salt ‘n’ Pepa’s biggest fans. Even that spring morning she rocked her head to ‘Tramp’ on her Walkman. She wore a baggy Click-suit, because they were extremely fashionable back then alongside Karl Kani’s, shell suits, raggas and all the rest of the early nineties street fashion.

Stephanie Johnson

Salt ‘n’ Pepa were saying something BIG back in the hay day. At a time when the revolution of hip-hop was dominated by males, Salt ‘n’ Pepa rocked on the scene with a cool, sexy and direct approach to hip-hop. It was cool to be sexy, be empowering and be a woman! They formed alongside Spinderella in 1985 launching hit singles like ‘Tramp’ and ‘Push It’, which was #2 in the UK charts, and in the nineties chart toppers like ‘Expression’ and ‘Let’s Talk About Sex’. Girls like Macy in Once Bad Intentions, Stephanie’s big sister, idolised them from their early arrival into hip-hop.

The above quote is taken from Chapter Five (New Girls on the Block) where Stephanie starts to explain the origins of her turning point from cute little girl to her current status in this chapter as a girl gang member. Macy was a part of that transition. Rebellion ran deep down the lines of their sister-hood. Stephanie, nor her big sister, Macy, wanted to follow  the mainstream in music interest or in lifestyle. Hip-hop provided a cool breakaway from that. To engage with a music genre that really reflected you, your experience, your dress, your hair, your rhythm and your ethnicity. The fashion that emerged from that movement was awe-inspiring, a freedom of expression that interspersed many realms.

If you want to read more, get your Once Bad Intentions copy here.

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