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HIV/AIDS Resource Center for African Americans
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13 Moments in Black Celebrity HIV/AIDS Activism

February 7, 2013


Salt N Pepa

Salt N Pepa "Talk About AIDS" (1993)

Salt N Pepa, a rap trio including the two eponymous frontwomen and DJ Spinderella, started a lot of controversy when they came out with the song "Let's Talk About Sex" in 1991. The song talked about safe sex, the positives and negatives of sex, and the stigma around sex in popular culture.

While this 1991 hit opened up the idea of being able to talk frankly about sexual safety and pleasure, their remix "Let's Talk About AIDS" named exactly what they wanted to inform about. The lyrics were changed to discuss how the virus is spread, how to negotiate condom usage, and to dismantle the stigma around HIV/AIDS. They rapped: "Don't dismiss, diss or blacklist the topic / that ain't gon' stop it."

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