Let's Talk About Sex

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"Let's Talk About Sex"
Single by Salt-n-Pepa
from the album Blacks' Magic
ReleasedAugust 6, 1991
Genre
Length3:33
LabelNext Plateau
Songwriter(s)Hurby Azor
Producer(s)
Salt-n-Pepa singles chronology
"Do You Want Me"
(1990)
"Let's Talk About Sex"
(1991)
"You Showed Me"
(1992)
Music video
"Let's Talk About Sex" on YouTube

"Let's Talk About Sex" is a song by American hip hop trio Salt-n-Pepa, released in August 1991 by Next Plateau as the fourth single from their third studio album, Blacks' Magic (1990). It was written and co-produced by Hurby Azor, and achieved great success in many countries, including Australia, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland and Zimbabwe where it was a number-one hit. Its music video was directed by Millicent Shelton. In 1992, "Let's Talk About Sex" earned a nomination in the category for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group at the Grammy Award.

Content[edit]

The song talks about safe sex, the positive and negative sides of sex and the censorship that sex had around that time in American mainstream media. The song was later included in the trio's Greatest Hits (2000) album. It samples "I'll Take You There" by the Staple Singers. An alternate version of the song entitled "Let's Talk About AIDS" was released to radio on a promotional single and included as a B-side on various singles for the song. The lyrics were changed to more directly address the spread of AIDS and HIV.

Chart performances and awards[edit]

The song was certified gold by the RIAA and peaked at No. 13 at the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. In the purely sales-based UK Singles Chart, the song hit No. 2, and in the German singles chart, the song hit No. 1, the first original song by an American hip-hop act to achieve that feat. It also hit No. 1 in the Australian ARIA Singles Chart.

In 1992, the song was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group.

Critical reception[edit]

The song received favorable reviews from many music critics. Steve Huey from AllMusic called it a "playful safe-sex anthem".[1] Larry Flick from Billboard stated that the hot rap divas "show no sign of cooling off with this spicy hip-hopper that pokes fun at people with inhibitions about sex." He remarked that "cheeky rhymes and charming demeanors make this yet another multiformat winner."[2] DeVaney and Clark from Cashbox commented, "Although they have changed their style from their original hip-hop image to commercial/R&B/Rap, the sound of this single is quite catchy and will probably take R&B by storm." They also concluded, "This single, by far, is one of the most commercial rap cuts of the year."[3]

David Thigpen from Entertainment Weekly described it as "an articulate, funny, and danceable primer on sex and the single flygirl that hit male-dominated hip-hop where it hurt."[4] A reviewer from Melody Maker wrote, "It's one of the most uncompromising safe sex raps ever written. The song also recoginises the biological differences between males and females, and the serious messages are balanced by a cheeky, never ribald, sense of humour. Their concern is genuine. It is, as they say, largely about understanding."[5] Kim France from Spin felt that "Let's Talk About Sex" "packs a wallop with the kind of sassy, seducto-humor the two previous Salt-N-Pepa records were chock full of."[6]

Music video[edit]

The accompanying music video for "Let's Talk About Sex" directed by Millicent Shelton and designed by visual artist and designer Ron Norsworthy, starts in a black-and-white scene with a girl turning on a radio and listening to the song. Then she starts kissing her boyfriend and scenes of Salt-n-Pepa and other couples kissing and hugging are shown. Next the video colorizes when Salt-n-Pepa are shown dancing. Another version of the video has a scene in which a skeleton is shown after the word 'AIDS' with a stamp saying 'censored' in its mouth.

Track listings[edit]

  • 7-inch single
  1. "Let's Talk About Sex!" (True Confessions edit) – 3:32
  2. "Let's Talk About Sex!" (Super Crispy Mix) – 4:39
  • CD maxi
  1. "Let's Talk About Sex!" (True Confessions edit) – 3:32
  2. "Let's Talk About Sex!" (Original Recipe mix) – 4:42
  3. "Let's Talk About Sex!" (Super Crispy mix) – 4:39
  4. "Do You Want Me" (Techno Philly Mix) – 6:31

Charts and certifications[edit]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format(s) Label(s) Ref.
United States August 6, 1991
  • 12-inch vinyl
  • cassette
Next Plateau [citation needed]
United Kingdom August 19, 1991
  • 7-inch vinyl
  • 12-inch vinyl
  • cassette
FFRR [47]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Huey, Steve. "Salt-N-Pepa - Blacks' Magic". AllMusic. Retrieved November 18, 2020.
  2. ^ Flick, Larry (August 17, 1991). "Single Reviews" (PDF). Billboard. p. 69. Retrieved November 18, 2020.
  3. ^ DeVaney, Bryan; Clark, Randy (October 19, 1991). "Music Publishing: Singles" (PDF). Cashbox. p. 5. Retrieved November 18, 2020.
  4. ^ Thigpen, David (October 22, 1993). "Music Review: 'Very Necessary'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 18, 2020.
  5. ^ Push (April 21, 1990). "Albums". Melody Maker. Retrieved February 24, 2023.
  6. ^ France, Kim (May 1990). "Spins". Spin. p. 78. Retrieved January 23, 2023.
  7. ^ "Salt-N-Pepa – Let's Talk About Sex!". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  8. ^ "Salt-N-Pepa – Let's Talk About Sex!" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  9. ^ "Salt-N-Pepa – Let's Talk About Sex!" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  10. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 2042." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved August 11, 2022.
  11. ^ "Top RPM Dance/Urban: Issue 2026." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved August 11, 2022.
  12. ^ "Top 10 Sales in Europe" (PDF). Music & Media. January 25, 1992. p. 28. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  13. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. December 21, 1991. p. 21. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  14. ^ "European Dance Radio" (PDF). Music & Media. September 28, 1991. p. 13. Retrieved October 25, 2021.
  15. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin - levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5.
  16. ^ "Salt-N-Pepa – Let's Talk About Sex!" (in French). Les classement single.
  17. ^ "Salt-N-Pepa – Let's Talk About Sex!" (in German). GfK Entertainment charts.
  18. ^ Irish Singles Chart Irishcharts.ie Archived June 2, 2009, at the Wayback Machine (Retrieved August 20, 2008)
  19. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Salt-N-Pepa" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  20. ^ "Salt-N-Pepa – Let's Talk About Sex!" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  21. ^ "Salt-N-Pepa – Let's Talk About Sex!". Top 40 Singles.
  22. ^ "Salt-N-Pepa – Let's Talk About Sex!". VG-lista.
  23. ^ "Top 10 Sales in Europe" (PDF). Music & Media. June 13, 1992. p. 18. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  24. ^ "Salt-N-Pepa – Let's Talk About Sex!". Singles Top 100.
  25. ^ "Salt-N-Pepa – Let's Talk About Sex!". Swiss Singles Chart.
  26. ^ UK Singles Chart OfficialCharts.com (Retrieved August 20, 2008)
  27. ^ "Top 60 Dance Singles" (PDF). Music Week. September 21, 1991. p. 22. Retrieved September 28, 2020.
  28. ^ a b c d Billboard Allmusic.com (Retrieved August 20, 2008)
  29. ^ * Zimbabwe. Kimberley, C. Zimbabwe: singles chart book. Harare: C. Kimberley, 2000
  30. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1991" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved February 11, 2021.
  31. ^ "RPM Dance Tracks of 1991". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved February 11, 2021.
  32. ^ "Top 100 Singles–Jahrescharts 1991" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved September 12, 2020.
  33. ^ "Top 100-Jaaroverzicht van 1991". Dutch Top 40. Retrieved March 11, 2021.
  34. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1991" (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Retrieved February 11, 2021.
  35. ^ "1991 Top 100 Singles". Music Week. London, England: Spotlight Publications. January 11, 1992. p. 20.
  36. ^ "ARIA Top 100 Singles for 1992". ARIA. Retrieved February 11, 2021.
  37. ^ "Jahreshitparade Singles 1992" (in German). Retrieved February 11, 2021.
  38. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 1991" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 8, no. 51–52. December 21, 1991. p. 21. Retrieved January 17, 2020 – via World Radio History.
  39. ^ "Top 100 Singles–Jahrescharts 1992" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved December 30, 2019.
  40. ^ "End of Year Charts 1992". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
  41. ^ "Swiss Year-End Charts 1992" (in German). Retrieved February 11, 2021.
  42. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1991 Singles" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved July 17, 2021.
  43. ^ "Austrian single certifications – Salt 'n' Pepa – Let's Talk About Sex" (in German). IFPI Austria. Retrieved February 5, 2021.
  44. ^ "Dutch single certifications – Salt 'n Pepa – Let's Talk About Sex" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved February 5, 2021. Enter Let's Talk About Sex in the "Artiest of titel" box. Select 1991 in the drop-down menu saying "Alle jaargangen".
  45. ^ "British single certifications – Salt N Pepa – Let's Talk About Sex". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved February 5, 2021.
  46. ^ "American single certifications – Salt 'N Pepa – Let's Talk About Sex". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved February 5, 2021.
  47. ^ "New Releases: Singles". Music Week. August 17, 1991. p. 19.

External links[edit]