NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– Thousands were brought together by music on the New Haven Green Saturday night for a performance by rap group “Salt N Pepa.”
The show was part of “Music on the Green” New Haven’s free two week summer concert series in July, presented by Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven, and organized by Market New Haven. Salt N Pepa took the stage around 7 p.m. but fans were out on the green in the early afternoon to make sure they had good seats to see the popular rap duo.
“Man it’s all that and a can of paint. It’s the real deal. I’m having fun out here. I brought the kids and my wife. I’m a big hip hop fan myself,” said a Salt N Pepa fan. “I’m built from hip hop that’s what I came from.”
The ladies of Salt N Pepa brought out an impressive approximation of 15,000 people of all ages, all packed on the green, dancing shoulder to shoulder with excitement.
“It’s a real reward, everyone is happy and having a great time,” said Anne Worcester, Chief Marketing Officer for Market New Haven.
And the stars were just as happy to be there.
“It’s amazing. I heard it’s such a huge thing and so for us to be a part of it is awesome,” said Sandra Denton, a.k.a. Pepa.
Salt N Pepa, which consists of Cheryl James as “Salt” and Denton as “Pepa” ( Deidra Roper “DJ Spinderella” was also previously part of the group), was one of the first all female rap crews when they formed in 1985. They’ve released five albums from the mid eighties to the late nineties. They disbanded in 1999 before returning to the studio for their 2007 VH1 television series “The Salt-n-Pepa Show.” The group is currently on tour performing shows all over the world and may just be working on something for fans to look forward to.
“We’ve been on the road a lot, Pep just came in from London, jet-setting today because that’s her other job,” James said laughing. “But we do a lot of performing. We just performed out in London. We are working on some stuff, we don’t like to say until it’s a done deal. We are still around doing our thing.”
“I travel all over the world with Salt N Pepa and we do our dance,” said fan DJ Hollywood.
While there are many successful women in rap music today, like Nicki Minaj and Iggy Azalea, it’s important to note that Salt N Pepa helped pave the way for them.
“Stay focused, keep going for it because it’s definitely possible,” said Denton.
James added, “and be original, be original that’s very important. People understand when you’re being authentic. And I think that’s what they love about Salt N Pepa, we just some round a way girls keeping it real!”
Presenters say that was also one of the reasons the group was chosen for the Music on the Green.
Last week, “The Temptations” were the headliners. Past performers of the concert series consisted of “KC and the Sunshine Band”, Kenny Rogers, Vanessa Williams and “Boys 2 Men.” Worcester say the concerts show the importance of diversity and brings pride to the city of New Haven. The ladies themselves were also enthusiastic to be in Elm City and said they would probably be hanging around after the show, at least one of them.
“This one, forget about it,” said James pointing to Denton. “I’ll be sleeping and she’ll be out.”