Salt-N-Pepa Reveal What Was Off-Limits When Making Their New Lifetime Biopic (Exclusive)

The hip-hop icons explain to ET why now was the right time to tell their story.

Ooh, baby, baby! Salt-N-Pepa's here, and spilling all the tea on how their new Lifetime biopic came to fruition.

Titled Salt-N-Pepa, the movie follows the story of how Cheryl "Salt" James and Sandra "Pepa" Denton transitioned from two students at Queensborough Community College to the first female rap act to go platinum. Denton tells ET that it was "very important" for them to be as hands-on as possible with the project, choosing to sign on as executive producers in order to make sure their story was "told right."

"As much as I could be involved, I was involved," Denton explains. "When we got approached to do a movie on Salt-N-Pepa, our legacy, I was like, 'Yes, it's the time! Oh boy, we got some stuff to tell you.' I've been wanting to do it for years."

"My first reaction was, of course, 'Yes, let's do it.' Salt-N-Pepa have so much story," she continues. "We pioneered the story that we have that has never really been told. We knew what kind of story it was. We only talked about it in interviews, never really got to see it visually, and the timing was right, so I was like, 'Yes.'"

James teases that there's actually "a lot people don't know about" the hip-hop girl group, best known for their 1987 hit "Push It," that fans will get to see in the movie. 

"It's exciting, and it's something that Pep's been wanting to do for years," she says. "I've been afraid to do it because it's so personal, but Pep ain't having it. She's like, 'We have to tell our stories.' So here we are."

"The reservations that I had was definitely the story being as true to life as possible," she continues. "You can tell your story and then by the time it goes through a writer, director and a movie company, sometimes it's not exactly what you want to portray. Also when you're telling your story there's other people in your life that are involved you have to be... I felt like I had to be delicate about incorporating other people's stories in my story."

When pressed on what subjects were off-limits from the movie, James said that one was her relationship with her children's father (Gavin Gray), along with her relationship with her own father. 

"They've been, in the past, delicate relationships. Nothing so much with myself or with Pep, because it's our story," she explained. 

Salt-N-Pepa premieres Jan. 23 on Lifetime.



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