Salt n Pepa
The group entered pop music at a time when rap music was believed to be a fad and record companies were reluctant to sign rap artists. Originally calling themselves Super Nature (on their first single), James and Denton debuted in 1985 with the single “The Showstopper” an answer record to Doug E. Fresh’s hit single “The Show”.“The Showstopper” was produced by Hurby Azor. The song utilized a melody from the 1984 film Revenge of the Nerds. The finished recording garnered some airplay on a New York City rap radio program. The independent Pop Art Records gave it an official release, and “The Showstopper” became a modest R&B hit.With the success of Showstopper, the group’s name was changed to Salt-N-Pepa (which they had called themselves in the first verse of the song) and they signed to the independent Next Plateau Records to record a full-length album. Roper then joined the group as the dj, replacing dj Latoya Hanson as Spinderella, and the group’s first album Hot, Cool & Vicious was released afterwards in 1986. The album was produced by Hurby “Luv Bug” Azor, Salt’s boyfriend at the time and also the group’s manager. Years later, the women would have legal issues with Azor as they accused him of paying unfair royalties.