REVIEW/PHOTOS: Salt-n-Pepa at The Belmont
Hip-hop divas Salt-n-Pepa graced Austin on Saturday. God-des & She opened. Review by Neil Ferguson. Photography by Roger Ho.
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Women dressed to the nines (or should I say the nineties?) lined up eagerly outside The Belmont on Saturday night in anticipation of a performance by the legendary female hip-hop duo Salt-n-Pepa. It’s been over a decade since the group released an album, but you would never even know by the size of the crowd at the nearly sold out show.
In true hip-hop fashion Salt-n-Pepa took the stage almost an hour late as DJ Dee Wiz set the mood with a mashed up mix of timeless hip-hop and classic rock songs. They were immediately forgiven as they launched in to the funkified beats of “Shake Your Thang,” feeding off the bump and grind of a pumped up audience. It’s been a while since their hip-hop heyday, but Salt-n-Pepa still possess that ability as performers to impress audiences with their lyrical and vocal prowess. The girls didn’t do too much dancing, instead leaving it to their young b-boys to bust out the moves all over the stage. If there’s one thing positive about not putting out an album for so long it’s that fans are more than familiar with the catalogue of the group. Highlights of the show were undoubtedly “Let’s Talk About Sex,” “Whatta Man,” and “Shoop,” all in a row! Being Salt-n-Pepa’s biggest hits, each of these songs caused an eruption of dance as the audience romped and raved with each other like old friends at a house party, simultaneously singing in unison along with the group.
With the hits out of the way the show closed out with a series of mashed up songs that played like the sound track at a dirty Sixth Street frat bar. Seeing the queens of hip-hop lead what sounded like a drunken bachelorette party to songs by novelty acts like Journey was a disappointing way to wrap up a concert. Even though it has been awhile since their last album, Salt-n-Pepa still offer a freshness that’s increasingly tough to find in a musical landscape dominated by stagnate boring beats. ‘Don’t stop believing’ that in the realm of hip-hop royalty, Salt-n-Pepa will always be the queens who reign supreme. -Neil Ferguson