Cheryl James, better known as Salt from the pioneering 1980s and ‘90s hip-hop trio Salt-N-Pepa, a.k.a. “The First Ladies of Rap” and the first female rap act to win a Grammy, in 1995, has her longtime home in the affluent suburban hamlet of Melville, N.Y., on Long Island about 30 miles east of Manhattan and nearly 90 miles west of Montauk, on the market at $1.525 million.
The now 50-something-year-old “Whatta Man” and “Push It” singer purchased the spacious and well-appointed, if somewhat ordinary, three-story red brick traditional-inspired home just over 20 years ago for $1.05 million, and listings held by Mary Theresa Marolda and Ricardo Manier, both at Douglas Elliman, show there are six bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms throughout the 6,000-or-so-square-foot spread that sits on slightly more than an acre of lushly manicured grounds at the end of a long, prettily tree-lined cul-de-sac that backs up to a busy parkway.
Light reflects off the polished medium-brown wood floors in the living room where the voluptuous bends of a gleaming white baby grand piano are echoed in the curved staircase, and a wall of custom built-ins showcase James’ shimmering and impressively extensive collection of gold and platinum albums. (Salt-N-Pepa, for hip hop aficionados born after the turn of the century, is the first female rap group to have a multi-platinum record, their five-time platinum selling fourth studio album “Very Necessary.”)
There’s a separate dining room for fancy meals, as well as a casual dining area in the up-to-date and high-end center island kitchen that flows easily into the family room where James displays her coveted Grammy. Salt-N-Pepa has received four additional Grammy noms, including for their bubbly 1996 single “Champagne,” wherein they courageously (and hilariously) rhymed the song’s title with the word “shebang.”
An en-suite bedroom privately positioned behind the kitchen and laundry room is well-suited for domestic staff or overnight guests, while four more guest and family bedrooms and two more bathroom share the top floor with the primary suite that offers a 33-foot-long bedroom, a fireplace, two-walk-in closets and a bathroom almost as big as the guest bedrooms.
The semi-subterranean walk-out lower level, which sports 9.5-foot ceilings, contains a number leisure, recreational and, in the case of James, professional options. In addition to a nearly 60-foot-long multipurpose recreation room with attached bath, there’s a good-sized gym and, natch, a soundproofed music studio.
Out back, spacious decks cascade down to a partially covered terrace outside the receation room and a grassy yard that slopes toward a dense forest of mature trees and foliage that effectively shields the view (if not likely the sound) of the adjacent parkway.