Feature for The Independent about Salt N Pepa's return, and their legacy as feminist pop cultural icons - informing everyone from Destiny's Child to Electrik Red.
It has become received wisdom that a major millennial power-shift saw rap and R'n'B become the most anti-feminist music there is. Beyoncé, in particular, is derided by feminists as the ultimate in male-objectification fantasies – but there is another interpretation, around the idea that black women at the forefront of popular culture continue to – albeit subtly – subvert gender roles. Beyoncé's huge 2008 hit "Single Ladies", ostensibly a re-establishment of modern woman as passive wife, is arguably pure parody – Beyoncé is no longer a mortal woman but a cyborg, as her robot-arm in the video demonstrates. In the words of the superb It's Her Factory blog, "the song isn't an ode to marriage and property and heterosexuality, it's an Afrofuturist feminist critique of heterosexual courtship."