Salt-N-Pepa: Hip Hop Has "Always Been a Male-Dominated Field"

Salt-N-Pepa: Hip Hop Has "Always Been a Male-Dominated Field"

FUSE TV - Salt-N-Pepa: Hip Hop Has "Always Been a Male-Dominated Field"

It's always been an uphill battle for women in hip hop and R&B—just ask Nicki Minaj, Keri Hilson, Eve or Alicia Keys. But there was a time when no female MCs were racking up hits. That is, until Salt-N-Pepa changed the game.

The iconic female rap trio—Cheryl "Salt" James, Sandra "Pepa" Denton and DJ Spinderella—took the rap world by storm proving they could spit as tough as the boys with now-classic singles like "Push It," "Whatta Man," "Shoop" and "Let's Talk About Sex."

Fuse's upcoming scripted series The Hustle, which features a tenacious female A&R exec working to break a rap duo, deals with many of the same hurdles Salt-N-Pepa encountered. 

"It's always been a male-dominated field then and it still is now," Denton says. "We were hanging with the best of them. Back then, there weren't many women. When we first came out, we were raw, we were bold, we were in your face with it. We did not care! We didn't hold back."

But even with massive success, the first ladies of rap found themselves in legal trouble with their former label over royalty payments. If Salt-N-Pepa could give the characters on The Hustle advice, it'd be to watch the finances. 

"Stay on top of your business if nothing else," they caution. "We were artists just wanting to be artists. We weren't doing the business side of it and got ourselves caught in trouble. You have to actually be a lawyer, accountant and everything that goes with it."

Watch Salt-N-Pepa discuss their legacy, winning a Grammy and more in the video above. And catch Fuse's new series The Hustle Wednesdays at 11/10c. Check out the channel finder to locate Fuse in your area.

Sorry, the video you’re looking for is no longer available! Try these recommended videos.

HIP-HOP HOUDINI

HIP-HOP HOUDINI

Shows: Hip Hop Shop:A Day With Trey Songz & Big Sean - BONUS

1m

Shows: Hip Hop Shop:A Day With Trey Songz & Big Sean - BONUS

Shows: Hip Hop Shop:Chillin' With Wale - A Day in The Life

2m

Shows: Hip Hop Shop:Chillin' With Wale - A Day in The Life

Sir The Baptist Wants To Bring A "Holistic Journey Back To Hip-Hop"

1m

Sir The Baptist Wants To Bring A "Holistic Journey Back To Hip-Hop"

Shows: Hip Hop Shop:A Day With Trey Songz & Big Sean - PART 2

2m

Shows: Hip Hop Shop:A Day With Trey Songz & Big Sean - PART 2

Shows: Fuse News: Drunken Tiger Talk Hip Hop's Early Days in South Korea: "It Was a Secret Society"

2m

Shows: Fuse News: Drunken Tiger Talk Hip Hop's Early Days in South Korea: "It Was a Secret Society"

Shows: ICP Theater: ICP Hip Hop Feuds

1m

Shows: ICP Theater: ICP Hip Hop Feuds

Hip-Hop Stars & NBA Legends Signature Sneakers

6m

Hip-Hop Stars & NBA Legends Signature Sneakers

Hip Hop's 50 Hottest in the Game

37s

Hip Hop's 50 Hottest in the Game

Hip Hop Shop Mix Down Vinny Chase

4m

Hip Hop Shop Mix Down Vinny Chase

Shows: Untied States of Hip Hop: Hot 97's Peter Rosenberg Talks Hip Hop Rumors

51s

Shows: Untied States of Hip Hop: Hot 97's Peter Rosenberg Talks Hip Hop Rumors

Shows: Hip Hop Shop: Yelawolf on the hip hop scene in Alabama

1m

Shows: Hip Hop Shop: Yelawolf on the hip hop scene in Alabama

Shows: United States of Hip Hop: Web Extra: Joe Budden on Ladies Man Reputation: "I'm Such a Jerk"

1m

Shows: United States of Hip Hop: Web Extra: Joe Budden on Ladies Man Reputation: "I'm Such a Jerk"

Shows: The Hustle: Women in Hip-Hop Empowerment 051513

3m

Shows: The Hustle: Women in Hip-Hop Empowerment 051513

Shows: United States of Hip Hop: Talib Kweli's Take on the Current State of Hip Hop

1m

Shows: United States of Hip Hop: Talib Kweli's Take on the Current State of Hip Hop

Cardboard Box Trick With Fat Joe: Hip-Hop Houdini Extra

3m

Cardboard Box Trick With Fat Joe: Hip-Hop Houdini Extra

Shows: Hip Hop's 50 Hottest in the Game:: MGK BTS

3m

Shows: Hip Hop's 50 Hottest in the Game:: MGK BTS

Hip Hop Gets Seema Sadekar Ready To Play Golf

46s

Hip Hop Gets Seema Sadekar Ready To Play Golf

Shows: United States of Hip Hop: Athletes being Rappers

58s

Shows: United States of Hip Hop: Athletes being Rappers

Shows: The Hustle: Women In Hip Hop Starting Out 051513

3m

Shows: The Hustle: Women In Hip Hop Starting Out 051513

Marvel Editor Explains Historic Hip Hop Covers at Comic Con

3m

Marvel Editor Explains Historic Hip Hop Covers at Comic Con

Shows: Hip Hop's 50 Hottest in the Game: Game BTS

3m

Shows: Hip Hop's 50 Hottest in the Game: Game BTS

Hip Hop Houdini - Fat Joe's Sneaker Museum - Sneak Peek

1m

Hip Hop Houdini - Fat Joe's Sneaker Museum - Sneak Peek

Interviews: Lil' Cease Remembers Biggie, Scrutinizes Hip Hop Today

1m

Interviews: Lil' Cease Remembers Biggie, Scrutinizes Hip Hop Today

Interviews: Christian Hip Hop Artist Lecrae  "My Faith Defines Me, Not My Music"

3m

Interviews: Christian Hip Hop Artist Lecrae "My Faith Defines Me, Not My Music"

Interviews: Pusha T: "I Made the Hip Hop Album of the Year"

6m

Interviews: Pusha T: "I Made the Hip Hop Album of the Year"

Festivals: Rock the Bells: Big Daddy Kane Opens Up About 20+ Years in Hip Hop

3m

Festivals: Rock the Bells: Big Daddy Kane Opens Up About 20+ Years in Hip Hop

Shows: Hip Hop Shop:Ace Hood Opens Up About His Daughter's Death

3m

Shows: Hip Hop Shop:Ace Hood Opens Up About His Daughter's Death

Mobb Deep on “The Infamous Mobb Deep” Album & How Hip Hop’s Changed - SXSW 2014

2m

Mobb Deep on “The Infamous Mobb Deep” Album & How Hip Hop’s Changed - SXSW 2014

Hip Hop's 50 Hottest In The Game: The Hustle Pick 10-1

43s

Hip Hop's 50 Hottest In The Game: The Hustle Pick 10-1

Shows: Hip Hop Shop:Meet Miami's DJ Irie, One Of Music's Top Tastemakers

4m

Shows: Hip Hop Shop:Meet Miami's DJ Irie, One Of Music's Top Tastemakers

Shows: United States of Hip Hop:Juicy J on Miley Cyrus Twerking

52s

Shows: United States of Hip Hop:Juicy J on Miley Cyrus Twerking

Shows: Hip Hop's 50 Hottest In The Game: The Hustle Pick 30-21

40s

Shows: Hip Hop's 50 Hottest In The Game: The Hustle Pick 30-21

Shows: Hip Hop's 50 Hottest In The Game: The Hustle Pick 40-31

36s

Shows: Hip Hop's 50 Hottest In The Game: The Hustle Pick 40-31

Shows: Hip Hop's 50 Hottest In The Game:  The Hustle 50-41

43s

Shows: Hip Hop's 50 Hottest In The Game: The Hustle 50-41

Shows: Fuse News: New York Rapper Bas Found His Path Within Hip Hop

3m

Shows: Fuse News: New York Rapper Bas Found His Path Within Hip Hop

Shows: Grammmys 2013:  Pretty Lights is Trying to "Revitalize" Hip Hop

1m

Shows: Grammmys 2013: Pretty Lights is Trying to "Revitalize" Hip Hop

Shows: Hip Hop's 50 Hottest In The Game: The Hustle Pick 20-11

42s

Shows: Hip Hop's 50 Hottest In The Game: The Hustle Pick 20-11

Shows: United States of Hip Hop: 'The Hustle' Star Clinton Lowe's Surprising Convo with Jadakiss

1m

Shows: United States of Hip Hop: 'The Hustle' Star Clinton Lowe's Surprising Convo with Jadakiss

Interviews: Sean Kingston, MC Hammer, Jay Sean Salute Cash Money at BMI Hip Hop Awards

2m

Interviews: Sean Kingston, MC Hammer, Jay Sean Salute Cash Money at BMI Hip Hop Awards

Interviews: Artist on Artist: Ashanti Grills Nelly on His Tastes in Women & Evolving Hip Hop Sound

5m

Interviews: Artist on Artist: Ashanti Grills Nelly on His Tastes in Women & Evolving Hip Hop Sound

Shows: Fuse News: Korean Hip Hop Trio Epik High Want to "Do Shows Naked"

2m

Shows: Fuse News: Korean Hip Hop Trio Epik High Want to "Do Shows Naked"

Festivals: SXSW 2014: 50 Cent Says "The Funeral" Brings Hip Hop Storytelling Back

3m

Festivals: SXSW 2014: 50 Cent Says "The Funeral" Brings Hip Hop Storytelling Back

Once a Stripper, Always a Ho

24m

Once a Stripper, Always a Ho

Shows: Fuse News:  Ice T: "Rock n' Roll Has Nothing to Do With Color, It's a State of Mind"

3m

Shows: Fuse News: Ice T: "Rock n' Roll Has Nothing to Do With Color, It's a State of Mind"

Festivals: Lollapalooza: Christina Perri's Mind Has Been Blown - Lollapalooza 2011

1m

Festivals: Lollapalooza: Christina Perri's Mind Has Been Blown - Lollapalooza 2011

Tough Times With Becky G

1m

Tough Times With Becky G

Sensitive Italian Male

21m

Sensitive Italian Male

Angel McCoughtry Has A New Respect For Amy Winehouse

1m

Angel McCoughtry Has A New Respect For Amy Winehouse

Fuse Has a Major Crush On Aussie Psych Rockers Pond

2m

Fuse Has a Major Crush On Aussie Psych Rockers Pond

Interviews: Jermaine Dupri Has a Stripper Pole in His Studio

7m

Interviews: Jermaine Dupri Has a Stripper Pole in His Studio

All That Remains Cruise Rock 'N Derby 2016 In A Golf Cart

3m

All That Remains Cruise Rock 'N Derby 2016 In A Golf Cart

The Fourth Kingdom - Always Need You

3m

The Fourth Kingdom - Always Need You

Statik Selektah

10m

Statik Selektah

Dash Berlin Coins "PEDM Hop" At Electric Daisy Carnival 2016

2m

Dash Berlin Coins "PEDM Hop" At Electric Daisy Carnival 2016

Festivals: Bonnaroo: Kendrick Lamar Interview

2m

Festivals: Bonnaroo: Kendrick Lamar Interview

Vicky Ha

21m

Vicky Ha

Festivals:Voodoo:  Fitz & the Tantrums Always Bring the Dance Party

2m

Festivals:Voodoo: Fitz & the Tantrums Always Bring the Dance Party

Interviews: The A$AP Mob rapper talks about the features (Bone Thugs-n-Harmony! Onyx!) on his 'Trap Lord' mixtape, out Memorial Day

4m

Interviews: The A$AP Mob rapper talks about the features (Bone Thugs-n-Harmony! Onyx!) on his 'Trap Lord' mixtape, out Memorial Day

SOLE SEARCHING

SOLE SEARCHING

Cody Spells Out Love On The Field

1m

Cody Spells Out Love On The Field

Smoothini Schools Iggy Azalea In Magic

2m

Smoothini Schools Iggy Azalea In Magic

Festivals: Bonnaroo: Kendrick Lamar Interview

2m

Festivals: Bonnaroo: Kendrick Lamar Interview

Down n Dirty

42m

Down n Dirty

Whitehorse: Meet DJ/Producer Natalia Benson

1m

Whitehorse: Meet DJ/Producer Natalia Benson

OverDoz. Get Cheeky with Superlatives on 'Got Ur #'

4m

OverDoz. Get Cheeky with Superlatives on 'Got Ur #'

William Rakena

22m

William Rakena

Shows: Fuse News: Mike WiLL Made It Talks Miley Cyrus' Rapping Skills

3m

Shows: Fuse News: Mike WiLL Made It Talks Miley Cyrus' Rapping Skills

Wei Lun Ha

21m

Wei Lun Ha

Festivals: Bonnaroo 2013: Kendrick Lamar Explains Plan for Black Hippy Domination

4m

Festivals: Bonnaroo 2013: Kendrick Lamar Explains Plan for Black Hippy Domination

Chopping It Up Backstage with 2 Chainz

1m

Chopping It Up Backstage with 2 Chainz

Sneaker Shopping: Trippie Redd

20m

Sneaker Shopping: Trippie Redd

Festivals: TomorrowWorld 2013: Hardwell Always Wanted to Be the No. 1 DJ in the World

3m

Festivals: TomorrowWorld 2013: Hardwell Always Wanted to Be the No. 1 DJ in the World

Ice-T and Coco

22m

Ice-T and Coco

Lauv Gets a Magic Trick Before His Firefly Set

2m

Lauv Gets a Magic Trick Before His Firefly Set

Festivals: Rock The Bells 2013: Bone Thugs-N-Harmony Talk Eazy-E Hologram at Rock the Bells

4m

Festivals: Rock The Bells 2013: Bone Thugs-N-Harmony Talk Eazy-E Hologram at Rock the Bells

THEY. Does Magic With Smoothini At Firefly 2018

3m

THEY. Does Magic With Smoothini At Firefly 2018

Leshego Mpe

21m

Leshego Mpe

Rock the Bells

21m

Rock the Bells

Fat Joe

20m

Fat Joe

Shows: Fuse News:All-Access With K-os As He Plays 'Jimmy Fallon'

3m

Shows: Fuse News:All-Access With K-os As He Plays 'Jimmy Fallon'

Festivals:Bamboozle: Bamboozle 2012 Moosh & Twist on New Mixtape, Tour

2m

Festivals:Bamboozle: Bamboozle 2012 Moosh & Twist on New Mixtape, Tour

SXSW 2014: Mobb Deep Reflects on 'The Infamous' Album at SXSW

2m

SXSW 2014: Mobb Deep Reflects on 'The Infamous' Album at SXSW

Shows: Fuse News: EDM Trio Cash Cash Explain Why All Three Members Don't Always Perform in Concert

2m

Shows: Fuse News: EDM Trio Cash Cash Explain Why All Three Members Don't Always Perform in Concert

Shows: The Hustle After Party: Juicy J Says the Strip Club is "an Inspirational Place"

39s

Shows: The Hustle After Party: Juicy J Says the Strip Club is "an Inspirational Place"

Peter Rosenberg

10m

Peter Rosenberg

Tierra Whack: HHH Firefly

3m

Tierra Whack: HHH Firefly

Interviews: Disney Star Zendaya Wants to Work With A$AP Rocky, Kendrick Lamar

4m

Interviews: Disney Star Zendaya Wants to Work With A$AP Rocky, Kendrick Lamar

Shows: Top 20:: Meet the Actors Behind Rap Duo Brooklyn's Finest - The Hustle

1m

Shows: Top 20:: Meet the Actors Behind Rap Duo Brooklyn's Finest - The Hustle

Epik High Discuss Their Coachella Goals

1m

Epik High Discuss Their Coachella Goals

Boosie Badazz: Everyday Struggle

20m

Boosie Badazz: Everyday Struggle

Banks & Steelz Talk "Edgy" Debut Album, Anything But Words

1m

Banks & Steelz Talk "Edgy" Debut Album, Anything But Words

Becky G Learns Magic

4m

Becky G Learns Magic

Iggy Azalea Gets Mind Blown

1m

Iggy Azalea Gets Mind Blown

Sir The Baptist Prefers A Nobel Peace Prize Over A Grammy

2m

Sir The Baptist Prefers A Nobel Peace Prize Over A Grammy

Attack Of The Tethered Strippers

8m

Attack Of The Tethered Strippers

Reebok Classic Leather 30th Anniversary Party

1m

Reebok Classic Leather 30th Anniversary Party

Inside Reebok and Future's Fury Pop-Up Shop

5m

Inside Reebok and Future's Fury Pop-Up Shop

Raiza Biza

22m

Raiza Biza

Interviews: Insane Clown Posse Explain Rare Geto Boys Collabo

4m

Interviews: Insane Clown Posse Explain Rare Geto Boys Collabo