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Hot, Cool, & Vicious is the 1986 debut album by American rap group Salt-n-Pepa. Released by Next Plateau Records on December 8, 1986, it was one of the first albums to be released by an all-female rap group. It featured the iconic song “Push It” which is still being played on the radio, in the clubs and even in commercials.  One third of the group, Sandra “Pepa” Denton shares how her life actually is hot, cool and vicious too.

On Being Cool

“We had fashion errors that became hits,” explains Denton. “We were bold with our colors and tights and being very sexy and the assymmetrical hairstyle. That was an accident that happened — my hair got shaved off on one side. I got a bad perm and had to shave it off on one side. And that became a big hit to this day, with a lot of people — Rihanna,Cassie, etc.. People always say that’s the Salt-N-Pepa look.” Now, that was cool and still cool today.

On Being Hot:

No matter which red carpet you see her on, Pepa is looking incredible nowadays.  She lost the extra pounds she gained after the height of her fame and her skin is flawless. She describes how she keeps it all looking hot. “I’m on a diet now, but I love vanilla ice cream, hot fudge with the nuts on top. That’s my downfall. I’m trying to create a “Push It” workout line. So I’ve been training. And I’m trying to fit the part, not just do it because I can. I’ve changed my eating habits. It’s hard but I feel better, lighter, more energy. I’ve seen the results, but dieting is hard and working out is hard. I envy the people who love it.”

On Being Vicious:

Her deepest scars came from a decade-long romance with a man she only refers to as “Brad” to protect the guilty.

During one of their apocalyptic fights, she writes, “I had the hot iron in my hand and he had a handful of my hair. He grabbed the hand with the iron in it and was pushing [it] toward my face. … He ended up pressing that hot iron against my other arm. I heard my flesh sizzling, and the smell was sickening. I started screaming…

Sandra “Pepa” Denton: Hot, Cool, And Vicious  was originally published on

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