Salt-N-Pepa originally released “Push It” as the B-Side to “Tramp” on September 8, 1986. The single peaked at #21 on the U.S. R&B Chart. Cameron Paul, a DJ and producer in San Francisco, remixed “Push It,” and Next Plateau Records released it as a single. “Push It” peaked at #19 on the U.S. Billboard 100 on February 20, 1988. The song charted at #2 on the U.K. Singles Chart. The success of the single helped their debut album, Hot, Cool & Vicious sell one million copie. Salt-N-Pepa was the first female rap act to score a gold or platinum album. “Push It” was also nominated for Best Rap Performance at the 1989 Grammy Awards, but lost to DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince’s “Parents Just Don’t Understand.” The song was released again on February 8, 1999 as “Push It (Again)” to promote The Best of Salt ‘n Pepa compilation.
Push It [Remix/7″ Remix/Full Length Remix] 4’29
Push It [U.S. Remix] 3’30
Push It [UK Mix (The Shuv’d Mix)] 6’50
Push It [Original 4’09
The music video for “Push It” captures Cheryl “Salt” James and Sandy “Pepa” giving an energetic performance in front of a crowd, while Dee Dee “DJ Spinderella” Roper scratches records, Hurby “Luv Bug” Azor provides spoken bits and plays keyboards, and two males dance behind the James and Denton.
Salt-N-Pepa have always had an empowered sense of humor in their music that I’ve appreciated. How can you not want to get up and move when you hear “This dance ain’t for everybody, just the sexy people”? I remember hearing “Push It” on the radio and in clubs, but I don’t remember ever seeing the music video on MTV. As surprising as it may seem, I don’t recall the suggestive nature of the title registering with my friends or myself, we just like the exuberant energy of the music and rap. I remember borrowing my friend Duane’s cassette of Hot, Cool & Vicious. I’m not sure if I ever gave back to him.
What are your memories of “Push It” by Salt-N-Pepa?