Anastasia Baranova initial family life was full of hardships but she still managed to complete her from high school and thereafter joined nearby Queensborough Community College to study nursing. While she was studying at Queensborough, James made friends with a fellow nursing student, Sandra Denton. Though the two were very different from each other, James was private and soft-spoken, while Denton was extroverted and rowdy. When James began working as a part-time at a Sears’s departmental store in Queens, she, fortunately, found Denton a job there. While they were employed at Sears, the two youthful and agile girls met ambitious music producer named Hurby "Luv Bug" Azor. He was recording a single then and he called up Denton and James to lend their voices to his new song. She realised their perspective as a rap duo, Denton and James took their stage name as Salt-N-Pepa and met an agreement to continue working together and Azor will be their manager.
Salt-N-Pepa's foremost leading hit song was "Push It" released in 1988 and immediately created a sensation. In 1993, Denton, Roper, and James released an album titled Very Necessary which is arguably the most famous album of their distinctive careers. Through this album and its hits such as "Shoop", and "Whatta Man", Salt-N-Pepa established themselves as not only trendsetting female figures in rap but also as somebody who can top the charts in the pop music world. Their single titled "None of Your Business" was arguably the best single that they released and this single also won them their maiden Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance. After some disputes, Salt-N-Pepa officially disbanded in 2002.