Salt-N-Pepa Classic Gets a PrEP Makeover

Salt-N-Pepa Classic Gets a PrEP Makeover

A new song and music video educating others about PrEP (the HIV-prevention treatment) is reviving one of hip-hop's greatest anthems: Salt-N-Pepa's "Let's Talk About Sex." 

Chicago-based Howard Brown Health released a new PSA and accompanying music video called "Let's Talk About PrEP," a parody to Salt-N-Pepa's 1991 hit. The goal is to raise awareness about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a one-pill-a-day strategy that when taken properly will prevent someone from contracting HIV. 

PrEP is a unique gift to our generation. The catchy hip-hop cover, sung by Chicago-based rapper KC Ortiz featuring the Big Dipper, is an example of how safer sex messages can be shared with communities often missed in marketing and advertisement strategies. It's time for safe sex to go viral and Ortiz hopes to get the message to communities of color who are less likely to be using PrEP.

Born and raised in Chicago, Ortiz (pictured above) is an artist, musician, writer, and entertainer “doing what she loves the most,” according to her SoundCloud account.

Not to be confused with an indie rock band of the same name, Big Dipper is a rapper that self-identifies as a “bear” and frequently includes quirky references about the hirsute, hairy sub-community that is found within the gay community. Big Dipper’s raunchy gay-themed videos have gone viral and are part of the reason why he’s a topic of conversation in the gay community.

Big DipperBig Dipper

“This song is about conversation — we need to talk about PrEP and HIV in our community,” said KC Ortiz. “When we talk to our partners and our loved ones about sexual health, we are eliminating stigma. Let’s talk about sex. Let’s talk about HIV. Let’s talk about PrEP.”

The video also features a handful of cameos including comic Tien Tran and Chicago drag star Lucy Stoole.

Screen Shot 2018 08 01 At 7.57.00 PmTien Tran

Screen Shot 2018 08 01 At 7.57.05 PmLucy Stoole

Howard Brown Health is often touted as “the largest LGBT healthcare organization in the Midwest.” One of its missions is to eliminate the disparities in health care that LGBTQ people endure on a daily basis. The organization has provided infectious disease screening for over 32,000 people per year.

“Howard Brown Health is thrilled to present this exciting music video as an advocacy and awareness platform for HIV prevention,” said Erik Roldan, Director of Communications for Howard Brown Health. “ Let’s Talk about PrEP is both a celebration and a call to action – we are on the precipice of an HIV-free generation, and PrEP is one of the tools we need to get us there. However, we must continue to increase PrEP access among communities who need it, particularly people of color on the south side of Chicago.”

Watch the video below.




Imagination + Muscle Productions produced the music video, and it was directed by Tobin Del Cuore and filmed throughout Chicago.  One of the filming locations includes Howard Brown’s Andersonville Brown Elephant resale shop.  The project was funded by a grant from the Illinois Community Health Foundation.

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