Watch: DJ Spinderella on the evolution of hip-hop

Written by on August 11, 2023

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Hip-hop turns 50 years old this year, and we couldn’t celebrate hip-hop without celebrating the women of hip-hop. There probably wouldn’t be a Lil Kim, Nicki Minaj or Missy Elliott without the pioneering hip-hop trio, Salt-N-Pepa.

Said to be one of the most successful hip-hop groups in the late 1980s to ’90s, Salt-N-Pepa consists of Cheryl “Salt” James, Sandra “Pepa” Denton and Deidra “DJ Spinderella” Roper. In a time when talking about sex was taboo, and women in hip-hop felt like they had to have more masculine imagery, Salt-N-Pepa broke barriers, leaned into their femininity and addressed issues that needed to be heard.

Rap group Salt-N-Pepa members (from left) Sandra Denton, DJ Spinderella and Cheryl James pose in the press room during the 2018 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

The Grammy Award-winning trio was honored last November on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, with guest speakers MC Lyte and Roxanne Shante paying them proper homage.

DJ Spinderella talked to theGrio’s Eboni K. Williams about hip-hop turning 50, how the group decided to approach their look, and how the culture has evolved since they started back in 1985.

Check out the full clip above, and tune in to “theGrio with Eboni K. Williams” at 6 p.m. ET every weeknight on theGrio cable channel.

TheGrio is FREE on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku and Android TV. Also, please download theGrio mobile apps today!

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