Sunday, March 8, 1987

Salt-N-Pepa “Push It” released

Push It


Writer(s): Hurby Azor, Ray Davies (see lyrics here)

Released: March 8, 1987

First Charted: November 21, 1987

Peak: 19 US, 22 CB, 28 GR, 23 RR, 28 RB, 2 UK, 7 CN, 3 AU, 30 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.4 UK, 1.45 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 168.23 video, 160.76 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

The rap group Salt-N-Pepa formed in Queens in 1985. They consisted of Cheryl James (Salt), Sandra Denton (Pepa), and Deidra Roper (DJ Spinderella). Their 1986 debut album, Hot, Cool & Vicious, generated three minor R&B hits before the group broke through with “Push It” in 1987.

It was first released as the B-side to their 12” single “Tramp” in March 1987. By year’s end a remixed version of the song charted on its own accord, reaching the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 and achieving platinum status. It was then added to Hot, Cool & Vicious, which pushed the album to gold and platinum status, making Salt-N-Pepa the first female rap group to do so.

“Push It” was written by Hurby Azor, the group’s producer and Svengali. He also discovered Kid ‘N Play. SF The song quotes the Kinks’ British invasion classic “You Really Got Me,” which earned the band’s singer and songwriter Ray Davies a songwriting credit on “Push It.” The song also quotes James Brown’s “I’m a Greedy Man” and “There It Is.” It also uses a sample from a 1977 song called “Keep on Pushin’” by the band Coal Kitchen. WK

The group reportedly hated the song, thinking it “underminded their rap credibility and didn’t have any lyrical direction they could support.” SF Cheryl James thought it was a step back on the group’s feminist principles. SF Sandra Denton tried to claim that “Push It” was “not a sexual song” SF but no one was buying it.

Record Mirror’s Robin Smith said it had “forceful rhymes and heavyweight rhythms that just won’t let up.” WK Melody Maker’s Paul Lester said the song “is to hip hop what M’s ‘Pop Muzik’ and Trio’s ‘Da Da Da’ were to electro-pop.” WK


First posted 6/24/2023.

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