A Jamie Foster Brown interview
Sister 2 Sister has been writing about Pepa since she and Salt first hit the music scene with the take-no-prisoners success of their group Salt-N-Pepa. I’ve watched Pep grow up and go through her changes, and one thing I always notice about her is her ability to bounce back from anything with a strong resolve.I’m sure breaking up with Treach was hard for Pepa, but when she knew it was time to move on, she didn‘t look back. When Salt decided it was time to step out of the spotlight, Pep kept on pushing. As if either of those two things weren’t devastating enough to work through, both blows came back-to-back! You’ll be glued to the page as she tells us what happened and just how she made it through.
Along the way, Pepa chose to be celibate for over four years. I guess four years was a long enough break for her because my baby started looking for a man. Thankfully, she’s got three great girlfriends to help her navigate through the dating game.
But what prompted her to put men on pause in the first place? How did it really help her? Read on because Pepa is about to tell you.Jamie: Okay, so who was happy? Pepa: My daughter because she’s visiting some family in Long Island. Her daddy, Treach, left her there and she was like, “He bought me a Rock Band 2.” She wanted the Rock Band and I had got her some stuff, but I forgot to get that and she must have told him. And he came to Long Island and gave it to her yesterday.
Jamie: Isn’t that wonderful, girl? That reminds me of how he was when he was young and he found his daddy. Remember how he saved up his little money to buy a gift for his dad? And then he went to give it to his dad that Christmas, but his dad had moved.
Pepa: I remember that. And I really believe that affected him.
Jamie: When did you and Salt break up Salt-N-Pepa?
Pepa: Probably eight years ago. Because we just got back together when we did the “Salt-N-Pepa Show.” So yes, I guess six years prior to that, or seven, something like that.
Jamie: But Pep, you all were doing so well and moving so fast. What happened?
Pepa: You know what? The business world got to Cheryl, actually.
Jamie: The business world?
Pepa: Yeah. It was overwhelming because she put a lot of trust in people. I don’t want to say what happened, but we’ve been to court with Herbie [Luv Bug], which we ended up winning in that case. But a lot of people that she put trust in failed her. Everything is not going to be all great and wonderful, but I just take the good times and the bad times. And I think the bad times, for Salt, was too much. And she knew she was wrong because even up to this day, we do a lot of shows. We were driving to Nevada after we had a show. And she was like, “Oh, I love the road now. You know I hated it before, and now I just love it because it’s just really us.” We’re surrounded by people that she loves and that [love] her. Like, her husband and her sister travel with us. So she’s in a better place now and she’s happy.
Jamie: How many shows are you all doing now?
Pepa: We’re doing a lot of shows. Yeah, we have, like, a little mini-tour coming up. Naughty by Nature is going to be on that.
Jamie: [Treach] told me that. He said that you were on a show recently together, right?
Pepa: Yes, in Trenton [New Jersey].
Jamie: That wasn’t the first time you’ve seen him in a while, was it?
Pepa: Not my daughter, but me personally. Because he always would pick up my daughter from my mom’s house. He would do it mostly weekends and stuff like that because he travels. So yes, I hadn’t seen him in a while.
Jamie: What was it like when you all saw each other?
Pepa: It was cool. We were like, “Hey, what’s up?” I headlined that particular show, so at the end, I brought my daughter up and I had him come up. It was cute.
Jamie: That was nice. I can’t wait to see the kids.
Pepa: My son is big. My daughter is 11.
Jamie: How old is your son?
Pepa: He’s 19 now.
Jamie: What? Girl, this is too crazy.
Pepa: I know.
Jamie: Okay now give me his name and her name.
Pepa: Okay, his name is Tyran and her name is Egypt.
Jamie: Egypt was looking like Treach when I saw her last.
Pepa: People say that—and me too. But you see a bit of both of us in her.
Jamie: Now how have you been living? Were you doing shows for all this time you were away from Salt? Like, were we thinking we could have been making money all this time?
Pepa: I was thinking that. I was very bitter when she left. I’m being honest because it’s the way she left. I didn’t really know why she left when she left. I learned that all later on, and on the phone! Not like, “Oh, let’s meet; I really need to talk to you about some things that I’ve been going through.” Nothing like that. It was a phone call. I was in a salon and she was like, “Look, I don’t want to be joined at your hips anymore.”
Jamie: So you all had been okay and had been performing together up until that day at the salon?
Pepa: Yeah, we were performing and all this stuff was just bottled up inside of her. I’m sure she communicated that to other people, but never to me. I thought it was management because we were going through some things.
Jamie: With management?
Pepa: Yes, right. I just wasn’t liking the way things were going. And so I was bringing in other people to take a look at the business and our stuff and make sure everything was going the way I wanted it to go. And I guess it was just too much for her. But I didn’t know. I needed her and she just bailed out on me. So everything fell apart when she left. At that point I just thanked God we were all right financially because we had gotten a big deal. You know me—I was doing little gigs here and there. But for the most part I was just chillin’ and baffled and confused and angry, even depressed at one point over it because I was like, “What happened?” I felt this was my livelihood and it was just taken away from me just like that.
Find out what else Pepa thinks finally made Salt throw in the towel when you pick up the April 2010 issue of Sister 2 Sister magazine.