As a college student she teamed up together with her pal Cheryl James to form the hip hop/rap duet Salt N Pepa. She was the youngest of eight kids, and she lived on a farm along with her grandmother until she was 6 years old. She subsequently moved to the borough of Queens in Nyc, where her parents had moved three years before and her older siblings had slowly followed. She finally graduated from high school in Queens and enrolled in nursing classes at Queensborough Community College.
While in school, Denton met fellow pupil Cheryl James. The two became fast friends and also started working part time at a Sears department store. There they met aspiring producer Hurby “Luv Bug” Azor, who requested the two young women to rap on a tune he was putting together. The effect, titled “The Show Stopper,” was launched as a single in 1985 and became an underground hit. The group’s debut album, Hot, Cool & Vicious, premiered in 1986.
Salt N Pepa moved beyond local hip hop success to broader recognition when a remix of the B side “Push It” was released nationwide in 1988 and became a hit. That year they replaced Green using a fresh DJ, Deidra “Spinderella” Roper, and released their second record, A Salt with a Deadly Pepa. Their third album, Blacks’ Magic, contained their biggest hit to date, the honestly worded “Let’s Talk About Sex.”
Their fourth record, 1993’s Really Crucial, finished Salt N Pepa’s transition from Nyc rap to the very best of the national pop charts. Nevertheless, their fifth album, Brand New (1997), turned out to be their last. From the time Salt N Pepa formally parted ways in 2002, they were understood as truly one of the very first & most significant female hip-hop groups and as musicians who successfully bridged the worlds of rap and pop.
Denton has formed numerous movie and television appearances throughout her career. She and James both appeared in the 1993 comedy film Who Is the Man? with Dr. Dre. They starred in the reality series The Salt-N-Pepa Show in 2007 08, and Pepa subsequently struck out on her own using the autobiography Let’s Talk About Pep (2008) as well as a television show of the exact same name (2010). She’s also a supporter of Lifebeat, an organization which works to educate young people about HIV/AIDS. Denton was wed to the rapper Anthony (“Treach”) Criss, in the group Naughty by Nature, from 1999 to 2001. The couple had a daughter named Egypt Criss in 1998. Denton also offers a son named Tyran Moore Jr., produced in 1990, from a relationship with Tyran Moore.