Salt or Pepa?

by Shea Serrano

Bun B’s Rapper Coloring and Activity Book, a collaboration between the rapper Bun B and freelance writer and teacher Shea Serrano, came out last month. Shea put together the “Salt-or-Pepa?” quiz for The Hairpin (click here for the hi-res version) and explains his affection for the duo below. Now go buy that coloring book, you adult human, you.

What’s funny is that Salt-N-Pepa were in the first batch of people I reached out to about being included in the book. They were really important to me when I was a kid — I mean, as important as two 20-something-year-old women in New York can be to a preteen in Texas. I can vaguely remember bouncing around the house rapping the words to “Push It,” which was a point of constant concern for my father, I’m sure.

But I just thought they were dope. So when we first started moving forward with the book, I tried to contact them pretty quickly. I’d actually planned on doing an activity similar to this one that I made here. Alas, we just weren’t able to coordinate. All of the people in the book gave us written permission to include them (which for sure was a feat in and of itself). Out of respect, we didn’t want to just toss people in there without asking like some other books have done in the past because it just didn’t feel right. So I cried and cried and cried and then refreshed my email over and over again hoping against hope but it just never happened. (Same thing happened with Missy Elliot, who I desperately wanted to include, too.) It definitely felt like sending a love note to a girl and then never ever hearing anything back. It was devastating. I’ll probably never push it again because of that lingering sadness. Shakespeare will have to dig himself up out of his grave to write about this. In the meantime, though, we’ve got this.

KEY, from left to right: S, P, S, S, P, S, P, P

Shea Serrano is an award-winning music critic who has written about music and popular culture for the past six years. His work has appeared at MTV, LA Weekly, Village Voice, XXL, The Source, Grantland and more.