STORY OF SONG

“Push It!” is the most well-known single from American female hip-hop duo “Salt-n-Pepa”, made up of Cheryl James (“Salt”) and Sandra Denton (“Pepa”). It is the first track off of their debut album released in 1986: “Hot, Cool & Vicious”. It is one of the first albums to go gold or platinum that was released by an all-female hip-hop/rap group.

The track has created a lot of controversy in the past, with it being deemed as a highly sexual song. In an interview with British publication the Guardian, Sandra Denton spoke out about the misunderstanding behind the meaning of the track: “For 30 years, we have been telling people that “Push It” isn’t about sex, but no one ever believes us. Honestly, for us, as young girls, it was about dancing. At one show they tried to censor us and the police were called to stand at the side of the stage, waiting for us to say something inappropriate. When we were singing ‘Push It’, they thought we were singing: “Pussy real good.” I ended up hollering at this policeman: “It’s ‘Push It’! It’s about pushing it on the dance floor.” We protested so much that eventually they let us go, and we didn’t get arrested.” The song was actually written by their friend Hurby “Love Bug “ Azor, who was also a record production student at the time. “Push It!” was not originally going to be included on the “Hot, Coll and Vicious” album, but ended up being added in at the end. The track was nominated for a Grammy Award but lost. The duo also performed the track at Nelson Mandela’s 70th birthday.

The music video is fairly simple, featuring Salt’n’Pepa performing the song live with DJ Spinderella and Hurby “Luv Bug” Azor on the keyboards. There is no certain release date for the music video nor who directed it, but it was uploaded to YouTube on the Salt-N-Pepa channel on the 6th October 2009, with over 92.5 million views as of May 2019.

Release Date: 8th March 1987

Songwriter/s: Hurby Azor, Ray Davies

Producer/s: Hurby Azor

Label/s: Next Plateau, London

Chart Rankings, Certifications & Accolades: In its year of release, “Push It!” whent to #1 in Belgium and the Netherlands, but also ranking high in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Iceland, Norway and Spain. The track has received Platinum certification in the US, Silver in the UK and Gold in Sweden. Rolling Stone magazine ranked the track #446 on their “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” list, as well as being ranked #9 on VH1’s “100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop”.

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Tala Woods

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