“Not everyone's role model material but we do have a sense of responsibility because kids listen more to us than they would their parents...”
Sandy “Pepa” Denton of the legendary rap group Salt N' Pepa is sharing her thoughts on Young Money's Harajuku Barbie Nicki Minaj.
The veteran emcee turned reality show star says she can relate to the position Nicki's in now as she tries to balance her racy sex appeal with her newly crowned position as a role model.
As previously reported, Onika was quoted telling Baby of Cash Money Records that she feels “guilty” about children that might be influenced by her overtly sexual image and lyrics.
Pepa says she knows exactly where she's coming from and relates her days on tour to Nicki's current dilemma.
She tells VIBE,
"[Salt-n-Pepa are] old in the game, we started out a little raw, so after a little while I've learned and changed because my audience changed. Kids started coming to my concert and I realized that I had sense of responsibility. I was cursing in my shows, and then I started seeing little kids and was like, 'Oh what are they doing here?' And after a while I had to stop, I didn't feel right."
Denton also says that she's constantly asked her opinion on the openly bisexual emcee. She tells VIBE that she reminds her of the Queen Bee but thinks Nicki's uncertain about her message.
"She reminds me of [Lil' Kim]. Bold and you know… she's young. And a lot of people are like 'Oh what do you feel about her because of the message?', but to me she hasn't learned the message yet.”
She continues further saying that she thinks the influence of her predominantly male counterparts in Young Money have shaped her risqué persona. According to Pep not everyone's qualified to be a role model but they should still be mindful of their influence on children.
“Not everyone's role model material, but we do have a sense of responsibility because kids listen more to us than they would their parents. But [Nicki's] young, so how's she gonna enlighten?' She's new, she's excited and what happens when you have a male camp backing you? Yeah, you might be singing those kinds of lyrics. That's what happens when you have a male camp dictating how you should be."
Pep made sure to add however that she has no problem with Minaj and tells VIBE that she admires her style and attitude.
"I'm not mad at Nicki. I think she's talented. I love her style. She has a lot of attitude, she has a lot of things she wants to express so I wouldn't be mad at that. I was there at that age, so I don't expect her to be like ‘Oh let me start being this way.' This is what she's feelin'."
Nicki's still got everyone talking…..check out Pepa's interview with VIBE here.