I remember when i used to play CD albums in the beginning of 90´s, and one of the hip-hop bands i did enjoy at that time, was the Public Enemy record Fear Of A Black Planet. This was the third album that the iconic hip hop band released in 1990. This was the first album that i bought of this hip-hop band. I did buy two more albums with Public Enemy, one CD collection of their biggest hits, and then later in 1999 i did buy the album There´s A Poison Going On. But my first album with Public Enemy, Fear Of A Black Planet, was actually never returned to me, after i let a guy borrow it in school back in 1991 ( i must have been 14 at that time ). That´s ok, i can just go in on Spotify and listen to them, but i still have the other 2 cds, and that´s nostalgic for me. Public Enemy with Chuck D and Flavor Flav did a lot of great political hip hop songs, and the one thing i especially loved was to see Flavor Flav wearing different clocks on him, some bigger than others. I wish i could wear wall clocks on me with a chain and look cool ( wait a minute, i do think that would fit me, i got to try later ). But if we go back a little bit to the 80´s, this is where hip hop music really started to get noticed, and for me it was 2 different bands i remember from this time period. Run D.M.C and of course Salt-N-Pepa. I still remember at the school disco in the 80´s when they started playing the Salt-N-Pepa song Push It, everyone would try and do the Push It dance, especially my class mate Roger ( he was not good, but at least he tried ). Salt-N-Pepa turned out to be really big successfull girls in the hip hop industry, they had a unique sound that everyone could get into. I never bought any of their albums, but i could just turn on MTV and check them out, they used to have their videos played there all the time, even right until the late 90´s. When i found out late last year that the TV film network Lifetime is releasing a film based on the career of Salt-N-Pepa, i became curious. A nostalgic hip hop group with an amazing story to tell. Is this biographical film better than i expected, or should we listen to the music instead and avoid this film?
In 1985, Brooklyn native Cheryl James ( GG Townson ) met Queens resident Sandra Denton ( Laila Odom ), both studying nursing at Queensborough Community. The pair become close friends and co-workers at Sears. Co-worker Hurby "Luv Bug" Azor ( Cleveland Berto ) study record production at the Center of Media Arts and ask Cheryl and Sandra to record for him as a class project. What these girls don´t know, is that this will be their first step into the world of hip-hop music, that will change their lives forever.
It is always difficult making a film based on a biographical story, no matter what the subject is. And in the hip hop music industry, we have seen a few films over the years showing us different kinds of hip hop talents that shocked the world. This film Salt-N-Pepa does a great job telling the story of how it all began, and how Salt-N-Pepa found success on the mainstream charts. What i especially think is important, is that this film proves that women in the music industry have a voice to be heard, and these women really helped to reach out to female fans across the world. This film does have some unexpected funny scenes, such as the male stripper club scene ( not giving away too many details ). Even if i have never been a big fan of Salt-N-Pepa, i do think they did have some singles that became hits for a reason, they had a flow that matched well on the dancefloor. Actors Laila Odom ( who some of you might recognize from the 2016 TV movie Bad Dad Rehab ) and GG Townson ( who i have seen in comedy TV series In The Cut ) both give us fun performances as Salt-N-Pepa members Sandra "Pepa" Denton and Cheryl "Salt" James. You can sense that their friendship helped them in many difficult situations, that could have caused chaos to their careers. It´s fun to see scenes where we get actors doing cameos such as Run D.M.C and LL Cool J as well, to get that 80´s vibe into the film. We also get to see legendary actor Mario Van Peebles in the film as Pastor, and he have no problem delivering a performance that is easy to enjoy. The fact that Mario Van Peebles also directed this film, makes this TV film a bit more unique than most Lifetime releases. And you can tell by the production of this TV film that he wanted to make it more than just another Lifetime film, and really give a portrait of these women that feels realistic. Salt-N-Pepa is not only a film for fans of the hip-hop group, but also worth checking out to show, that no matter what your dream is, never let anyone stop you from reaching your goal. A fun TV movie, that also show the serious side of showbusiness, that everything is not as easy at it seems. If you love the 80´s and especially hip-hop music from this time period, Salt-N-Pepa is definetely a choice for you to enjoy.