Salt-n-Pepa re-play classics at 1st Mariner concert

This weekend two vastly different rap duos will perform in Baltimore.

The first one, Salt-n-Pepa, formed in New York and are icons of the genre. The second one, AK Slaughter, are homegrown, and barely five years old.

Cheryl James and Sandy Denton — Salt and Pepa, respectively — have been performing together since the 80s.

They regularly bill themselves as the first ever female rap crew. Though that claim is debatable — South Carolina trio The Sequence came before them, for instance — they achieved mainstream success early on with the risqué classic "Push it."

Later, the cemented their reputation with "Let's Talk about Sex" and in the 90s, "Whatta Man" and "Shoop."

Along the way, they won a bunch of MTV music awards and a Grammy award in 1995.

In 2007, after some years apart, they reunited for a VH1 reality show called, of course, the "Salt-n-Pepa Show" that lasted a couple of seasons.

And, though they're far from their heyday, the duo has been touring with an all-80s-star tour called the Legends of Hip Hop. Doug E. Fresh and Biz Markie joined them for some dates.

At 1st Mariner on Saturday, they will perform with a couple of contemporaries, female rapper MC Lyte and 90s favorite Naughty by Nature (see "O.P.P.").

It will be, incidentally, a quarter of a century since the release of their first album.

The night before that show, at the smaller Metro Gallery in Station North, party rappers Emily Slaughter and Aran Keating will perform. Together, they are AK Slaughter.

The duo, which met at Goucher College in the early 2000s, will commemorate that night the release of their new EP "The Pleasure of Doing Business."

It features four tracks and guest appearances by, among others, local rapper Mickey Free, who is now touring himself with new project Shark Tank.

Slaughter said the album is a preview of their coming full-length album, which will be released this summer, and will feature several collaborations as well.

Salt-n-Pepa perform Saturday at 1st Mariner Arena, 201 W. Baltimore St. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $45.50-$55.50. AK Slaughter perform Friday at Metro Gallery, 1700 N. Charles St. Doors open at 9 p.m. Tickets are $8.

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