It’s hard to believe that its been thirty years of trailblazing and lending a voice for women in hip-hop for the queens from Queens, Salt-N-Pepa. Friday night at the Hard Rock Rocksino in Cleveland was no different. With no opener, plus DJ Spinderella took the stage and put on more of an experience than a performance. Armed with two young, and muscular back-up dancers, Pepa, in knee-length sequin-bedecked converse sneakers sauntered across the stage flashing a a big smile at the crowd while Spinderella took care of the beat on a her DJ throne high up on a platform.
Salt, in heeled booties and a bedazzled hat with her namesake, called out for all the “’70s babies” to give a shout and went up a decade asking for the same response. A woman in the front row called out “What about ’60s babies?!”. The crowd, though ranged in various ages, was predominantly men and women in their 30s and 40s. SNP offered up a fun mash-up of hits throughout the decades encouraging the crowd to sing and dance along. Songs like”Engine Engine Number 9″, “Rapper’s Delight”, and “Just a Friend” were sung. As Spinderella played “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”, SNP invited all the women in the audience to come up on stage. “We’re not supposed to do that. But we don’t care.”, quipped Salt. SNP mixed in their own songs, of course, including “Tramp” and “None of Your Business”. But even through the songs, there was an ever-lingering need to hear some of their greatest hits, as concertgoers yelled out “Push It!” or “Shoop!” when the music had quieted down for a brief moment.
Salt-N-Pepa showed love and gratitude for the audience, and the crowd gave it right back. To round out their hour long set, Salt-N-Pepa finished up with the long-anticipated songs that sent them into the spotlight. “Let’s Talk About Sex”, “Whatta Man”, “Shoop” and “Push It” were played sequentially as the crowd jumped from their assigned seats and crowding the stage, and filling the aisles. During “Whatta Man”, men were invited to come up on stage to fight for the affections of Salt and Pepa. The winner ended up being a short older gentleman with white hair, to which Pepa mock spanked him and took time for selfies.
For the last song, the trio left the stage, to come back dressed in their iconic “Idol Maker” yellow and red leather jackets as a throwback to when they first gained their fame.