Lifetime’s 3-Hour Salt-N-Pepa Biopic Is Coming to TV in 2020

DJ Spinderella might be on the outs with the other members of Salt-N-Pepa, but that feud isn’t putting the brakes on Lifetime’s upcoming biopic about the pioneering rappers. 

The network’s 3-hour movie about the group behind hits such as “Push It ” and “Whatta Man” is currently in production in Toronto. And now, we know who will play the two leads in what’s sure to be a drama-packed film. 

GG Townson and Laila Odom will play the leads  

Cheryl James "Salt" (R) and Sandra Denton" Pepa"
Cheryl ‘Salt’ James and Sandra ‘Pepa’ Denton in 2019 | John Lamparski/Getty Images

GG Townson of In the Cut and Everybody Hates Chris has signed on to play Cheryl “Salt” James. Laila Odom of The Bobby DeBarge Story and Undercover Brother 2 will portray Sandra “Pepa” Denton. New Jack City director Mario Van Peeples is directing.

“Such a blessing 🙏🏽🙌🏽,” Odom captioned an Instagram post announcing her casting. 

“Aaahh….PUSH IT, PUSH IT REAL GOOD!!🎉🔥” Townson wrote

Cleveland Berto has been cast as music producer Hurby Azor. Jermel Howard will play rapper Treach of Naughty By Nature, who was married to Denton for several years. And as for DJ Spinderella, who says she was abruptly fired from the group earlier this year via email? Monique Paul will take on that role. 

The biopic will air sometime in 2020. 

What will the movie will be about?

salt-n-pepa in 1988
Salt-N-Pepa in 1988.Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

The authorized biopic, titled Salt-N-Pepa, “follows the story of Queensborough Community College students Cheryl ‘Salt’ James and Sandra ‘Pepa’ Denton as they fall into the world of rap and hip hop, after recording for a song for their friend Hurby Azor,” according to Lifetime. 

Salt-N-Pepa, who released their first album in 1986, were the first female rap act to go platinum and were famous for their frank songs about sex. The biopic will feature some of the group’s biggest hits, including “Let’s Talk About Sex” and “Shoop.”

Denton and James are executive producers on the project, along with Queen Latifah, Shakim Compere, and Robert Teitel. James “Jimmy” Maynes and Azor are co-executive producers.

What’s going on with DJ Spinderella?  

While James and Denton are still performing together as Salt-N-Pepa, the third member of the group, DJ Spinderella (whose real name is Deidra Roper) is taking her former friends to court. 

After claiming she was booted out of the group in advance of a tour with New Kids on the Block, Roper filed a lawsuit against her one-time bandmates. She says she’s owed unpaid royalties and is also suing for breach of contract, fraud, and intentional misrepresentation, People reported. She also says that the other members of Salt-N-Pepa never talked to her about their plans for the upcoming Lifetime biopic, according to The Blast

Representatives for Denton and James dispute Roper’s claims. “[I]t’s unfortunate she is choosing to take this path because Salt-N-Pepa have been very good to her, both artistically and financially, for more than 30 years,” they said in a statement. 

Read More: ‘The Facts of Life’ Cast Is Reuniting for a Lifetime Christmas Movie 

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