Home #Hwoodtimes This Saturday night: Lifetime biopic Salt-N-Pepa portrays the iconic hip-hop duo’s pioneering...

This Saturday night: Lifetime biopic Salt-N-Pepa portrays the iconic hip-hop duo’s pioneering music career

G.G. Townson (left) and Laila Odom star in "Salt-N-Pepa" Saturday on Lifetime.

The film premiers on the Lifetime Network Saturday, January 23rd, at 8pm ET 

By: Valerie Milano


Hollywood, CA (The Hollywood Times) 01/21/2021 – Salt-N-Pepa, the new Lifetime biopic premiering this weekend about the eponymous female hip-hop duo, tells the story of the pioneering group’s meteoric rise through the hip-hop world to the top of the billboard charts, becoming the first all-female hip-hop group to go Platinum.

The film portrays the origins of the group when Cheryl “Salt” James and Sandra “Pepa” Denton, played by GG Townson and Laila Odom, respectively, meet in 1985 as students at Queensborough Community College in Queens, New York. The two quickly strike up a friendship that leads to them becoming coworkers as telemarketers for Sears, and then co-emcees in the duo that was initially called Super Nature and anchored by their producer and Cheryl’s then-boyfriend, Hurby Azor, played by Cleveland Berto.


The duo cut their first track, “Showstopper,” a response to rappers Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick’s track “The Show” in Hurby’s mother’s basement. The song became a mild radio hit and thrust them into the gritty and male-dominated 1980’s New York City hip-hop scene.

In a January 12th presser with Cheryl “Salt” and Sandra “Pepa,” Townson and Odom, and Director Mario Van Peebles, Cheryl confirmed that many classic Salt-N-Pepa tracks were recorded in Hurby Azor’s mother’s garage, including “What a Man” and “Shoop.” And, as portrayed in the film, the group’s smash 1986 hit, “Push It” was recorded in a bathroom!

As Cheryl and Sandra grapple with relationship troubles, stingy record executives, interpersonal conflicts, and the cutthroat hip-hop scene, the biopic guides viewers through the duo’s steady and quick rise to stardom. It features meticulously choreographed performances of many of the group’s hits including “Push It,” “What a Man,” “Let’s Talk about Sex,” “Shoop” and others. Townson and Odom sport replicas of some of the group’s iconic performance swag, including the Salt-N-Pepa bomber jackets worn in the “Push It” music video. The group’s longtime DJ, Spinderella, is played by Monique Paul in the film.

In the January 12th Q&A, Townson and Odom say much of their inspiration and preparation for the roles came from Cheryl and Sandra themselves, as they guided the actresses through their careers and provided insight into their true personal lives.

(Photo: Michael Putland/Getty Images)

Through disputes over their level of compensation and controlling their own music, and balancing their careers and motherhood, the film demonstrates how Cheryl and Sandra overcame the particular struggles of women in the music industry. Also highlighted in the film is the important role Salt-N-Pepa played in the HIV/AIDS awareness movement in the 1980s using the platform of their song “Let’s Talk about Sex.”

(Photo: S & A)

The film was produced by Cheryl “Salt” James, Sandra “Pepa” Denton, and Queen Latifah. It premieres on the Lifetime Network on Saturday, January 23rd at 8pm ET.

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Valerie Milano is the well-connected Senior Editor and Entertainment Critic at, a website that aggregates showbiz news curated for, and written by, insiders of the entertainment industry. (@HwoodTimes @TheHollywood.Times) Milano, whose extraordinary talents for networking in the famously tight-clad enclave of Hollywood have placed her at the center of the industry’s top red carpets and events since 1984, heads daily operations of a uniquely accessible, yet carefully targeted publication. For years, Milano sat on the board and tour coordinator of the Television Critics Association’s press tours. She has written for Communications Daily, Discover Hollywood, Hollywood Today, Television International, and Video Age International, and contributed to countless other magazines and digests. Valerie works closely with the Human Rights Campaign as a distinguished Fed Club Council Member. She also works with GLSEN, GLAAD, Outfest, NCLR, LAMBDA Legal, and DAP Health, in addition to donating both time and finances to high-profile nonprofits. She has been a member of the Los Angeles Press Club for a couple of years and looks forward to the possibility of contributing to the future success of its endeavors. Milano’s passion for meeting people extends from Los Feliz to her favorite getaway, Palm Springs. There, she is a member of the Palm Springs Museum of Art and a prominent Old Las Palmas-area patron.