This Friday perhaps nostalgic Hip Hop fans will go “Salt-N-Pepa’s here,” because they will be in Cincinnati, even if that’s also the Grammy-winning duo’s classic line from “Push It.” Cheryl James-Wray and Sandy Denton of Salt-N-Pepa headline the Legends of Hip Hop tour, coming to the Cintas Center with Slick Rick, Doug E. Fresh and Naughty by Nature.
The 20-city Legends tour celebrates the 25th anniversary of Salt-N-Pepa’s Go-Go influenced debut, Hot, Cool & Vicious, the album that established them as Hip Hop’s first ladies. Coquettish on hits like “Shoop” and “Shake Your Thang” and empowering on “Independent,” “Expression” and “Ain’t Nothin’ But a She Thang,” Salt-N-Pepa crossed barriers between Rap and Pop to sell more than 15 million records. Currently selling digital singles on iTunes called “Big Girls” and “She’s Killin’ Me,” S-N-P’s first 12-inch was “The Showstopper,” a response to Slick Rick’s and Doug E.
Fresh’s 1985 rap/beat-box anthem, “The Show.”
Ever-clad in dooky rope chains and his trademark eye patch, Slick Rick brought a mix of paradigmatic storytelling and parody to Hip Hop on The Great Adventures of Slick Rick. His sometime sidekick, Doug E. Fresh, had his share of solo hits, namely 1988’s, “Keep Rising to the Top.” Both are probably best known for their beat box classic “La-Di-Da-Di,” later covered by Snoop Dogg. Probably the best beat boxer alive (R.I.P. to Fat Boys’ Darren “Buffy” Robinson), Fresh’s legacy also includes his infamous move known as “The Doug E.”
Last but certainly not least, there’s Naughty by Nature, which won the first ever Best Rap Album Grammy for 1996’s Poverty’s Paradise and first blew up with “O.P.P.” 20 years ago. Whenever “Hip Hop Hooray” is played, even the stiffest club-goers still wave hands from side to side like in Naughty’s Spike Lee-produced video. The trio plans to release a new album on May 17 titled The Anthem, Inc.
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