By Rudabeh Shahbazi

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POMPANO BEACH (CBSMiami) – They are iconic – two female rappers and a DJ who made their mark on the 90s, the music industry and the “glass ceiling.”

Trio Salt-N-Pepa – made of up of Cheryl James (“Salt”), Sandra Denton (“Pepa”) and Deidra Roper (“Spinderella”) – is best known for their songs “Shoop” and “Whatta Man.”

They inspired a generation, including Tiffany Miranda.

Miranda is a successful DJ and performer, and founder of Girls Make Beats, a nonprofit program that teaches young girls the ins and outs of music production, DJ’ing and audio engineering.

“Salt-N-Pepa, they were my jam what I was growing up,” said Miranda. “I would just watch VH1 and MTV and The Box. It was all Salt-N-Pepa, all the time.”

The girls of Girls Make Beats opened for Salt-N-Pepa, who performed their classics at the Pompano Beach Amphitheatre, and took time to say hello to the future DJs who look up to them.

“You have to really believe in yourself and your talent,” said Salt. “You have to be strong. Salt-N-Pepa have endured a lot in the business, and there were a lot of times where we felt defeated, and like we wanted to give up, but there’s a certain energy that you have to have a woman when you’re in a male dominated field. You have to stay focused.”

Girls Make Beats partnered with the city of Pompano Beach and Ali Cultural Arts Center, with help from a Knight Foundation grant, to provide training to inner-city girls.

Spinderella was thrilled to hear about the program, and said girls should use any negativity they encounter along the way to catapult them.

“The women that are coming through the doors, we’d like to see, of course, more of them,” she said.  “But I’m proud as a female DJ to see the young ladies doing what they do, because they have been put into this box. They’re women, they can do anything. I say to the young girls out there, use that as your catalyst.”

Miranda was grateful for the opportunity to introduce the young musicians to the famous group.

“They were so inspirational and empowering women in the music industry,” she said. “And there hasn’t been a lot, so to see them come out and be so strong and so supportive, and open their arms to the girls today, it was just so mind-blowing.”

Destiny Nicole Serrano, 12, will remember the experience for a long time to come.

“It instills the drive for me to keep pushing forward, because I know I’ll be able to make it in a future career,” she said.

“That’s amazing, for them to be paid attention to, because they have that in them,” said Pepa. “That’s a goal, they see it, and that organization is allowing them to be who they want to be; that’s brilliant.”

Pepa said inspiring younger generations is the reward.

“That’s what makes us feel good,” she said. “There’s a whole lot to get for this next generation, what we didn’t even get. We’ve broken down doors and reached a ceiling, but I think there’s more to even go for these young ones.”

Three decades after they exploded on the hip hop scene, Salt-N-Pepa is still going strong, and has advice for those who hope to follow in their footsteps.

“We can be producers, we can be engineers, we can be anything,” said Salt. “Don’t put a limit on your mind, you can do it. You can do it.”

For more on Girls Make Beats, visit girlsmakebeats.org.

For more on Ali Cultural Arts, visit aliarts.org.

For more on the Knight Foundation, visit knightfoundation.org.

If you are a mentor and would like to share your story with us, please email us at mentoringmatters@cbs.com

Click here for more Mentoring Matters

Comments (3)
  1. Salt and Peppa Trio.. Iconic? Highly Misjudged. #Wrong

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