Push It (Salt-n-Pepa song)

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"Push It"
Push It by Salt-N-Pepa single cover.jpg
German 12-inch single
Single by Salt-N-Pepa
from the album Hot, Cool & Vicious
ReleasedMarch 8, 1987
Length3:28 (UK radio edit)
4:31 (album version)
Producer(s)Hurby Azor
Salt-N-Pepa singles chronology
"Push It"
"Chick on the Side"
Music video
"Push It" on YouTube
Alternative cover
Side A of US 7-inch retail single
Side A of US 7-inch retail single

"Push It" is a song by the hip hop group Salt-N-Pepa. It was released as the B-side of the "Tramp" single in 1987, and as its own single in 1988. It peaked at number 19 on the Billboard Hot 100 in early 1988 and, after initially peaking at number 41 in the UK, it re-entered the charts after the group performed the track at Nelson Mandela's 70th birthday concert, eventually peaking at number two that summer. The song has also been certified Platinum by the RIAA. The song is ranked number 446 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and was ranked number nine on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop.[2]


The original version of "Push It" was first released as the B-side to the 12" single "Tramp" in 1987. The corresponding 7" single contained a "Mixx-It" remix by San Francisco DJ and producer Cameron Paul; this was the radio version that gave the group its first mainstream hit. It advanced into the Billboard Top 40 the week of December 26, 1987, eventually reaching its peak of number 19 the week of February 20, 1988. It also ties with "Let's Talk About Sex" as the group's highest-charting UK hit, with both peaking at number two in that country.

The original 1986 editions of the album Hot, Cool & Vicious did not contain "Push It". When the Cameron Paul remix of "Push It" became a radio hit, the album was reissued with the "Push It" remix added, along with the original versions of "Tramp" and "Chick on the Side" replaced by remixes.

At a 1986 concert, police thought Salt-N-Pepa were singing "pussy real good" instead of "push it real good" and waited for them after the show to arrest them. They showed the police the written lyrics to prove them wrong.[3]


The song quotes a line from "You Really Got Me" by The Kinks, with the word "girl" replaced with "boy": "Boy, you really got me goin'/You got me so I don't know what I'm doin'." (For this, Ray Davies received a songwriting credit for "Push It.") It also quotes "Pick up on this" from "I'm a Greedy Man" and "There it is" from "There It Is", both by James Brown. The whispered "Push it" is sampled from a 1977 recording called "Keep on Pushin'" by the band Coal Kitchen. This song is written in the key of A minor[4]

Recognition and sales[edit]

"Push It" was nominated for a Grammy Award, and the strength of that single catapulted the reissued Hot, Cool and Vicious album to platinum sales in the US with one million sold, making Salt-N-Pepa the first female rap act (group or solo) to go gold or platinum. The album ultimately sold 1.3 million copies worldwide.

Usage in media[edit]

In 2006, the song is sung by actress Linda Cardellini in an infamous karaoke scene from the movie Grandma's Boy.

In 2009, the song was covered on the musical television show Glee's first season episode "Showmance" sung by Rachel Berry (Lea Michele), Finn Hudson (Cory Monteith), Artie Abrams (Kevin McHale) and other glee club members.

In 2011, the song was featured in a season 4 episode of Chuck called Chuck Versus the Push Mix in a scene where the characters Lester Patel and Jeffrey Barnes portrayed by Vik Sahay and Scott Krinsky play the song while Ellie Bartowski portrayed by Sarah Lancaster, the sister of the title character is seen giving birth to her first child named Clara Woodcomb. Additionally, both of the characters wear the jackets of Salt-N-Pepa while singing.

In 2014, the song was featured in a commercial for the GEICO auto insurance company with a featured cameo appearance by Salt-N-Pepa themselves as part of the "It's What You Do" campaign.[5]

The Big Bang Theory used the song twice. In 2016, the song was featured in a season 9 episode called "The Positive Negative Reaction" in a scene where the characters Leonard Hofstadter and Raj Koothrappali portrayed by Johnny Galecki and Kunal Nayyar cover the song in a karaoke party. In 2018, the song was used in episode 4 of the series, "Deutschland 86" where a cook is listening to it on a Walkman while he grills food.

In 2020, the song was featured as the theme song of the ABC U.S. revival of TV game show Supermarket Sweep hosted by actress and comedian Leslie Jones.

The song is used frequently in Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Push It" features a concert performance of the song, along with DJ Spinderella and Hurby "Luv Bug" Azor on keyboards and backing vocals. The group wears eight-ball jackets during the video.[6]

All mixes[edit]

  • "Push It" (UK Radio Edit) – 3:28 – Edited version of the 7" Remix. Is usually the version played on radio stations in the UK. Also known as the U.S. Remix in America.
  • "Push It" – 4:12 – B-side of "Tramp" 12" single
  • "Push It (Instrumental)" – 4:12 – B-side of "Tramp" 12" single
  • "Push It (Mixx-It Remix)" – 4:28 – B-side of "Tramp" 7" single; also known as Album Version, Remix, 7" Remix, Full-Length Remix, Radio Edit
  • "Push It (U.S. Remix)" – 3:29 – 1988 Europe/Australasia-only edited version of Mixx-It Remix
  • "Push It (The Shuv'd Mix)" – 5:06 – 1988 UK-only remix; also known as UK Mix

Charts and certifications[edit]


  1. ^ "Salt-n-Pepa 'Push It' Real Good on 'American Idol'". Spin. March 27, 2015.
  2. ^ Stone, Rolling (April 7, 2011). "500 Greatest Songs of All Time".
  3. ^ Gostin, Nicki (2021-11-09). "Salt-N-Pepa's Sandy Denton: Police thought we were singing 'p—y' not 'Push It'". Page Six. Retrieved 2021-12-29.
  4. ^ Ray, Davies; Herby, Azor; Salt-N-Pepa (2007-12-26). "Push It". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 2021-06-08.
  5. ^ GEICO Super Bowl 2015 TV Commercial, 'Push It: It's What You Do' Ft. Salt-N-Pepa - iSpot.tv
  6. ^ "The 20 Coolest Types of Jackets in Hip-Hop History". Complex. Retrieved 2022-01-27.
  7. ^ "Salt-N-Pepa – Push It". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  8. ^ "Salt-N-Pepa – Push It" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  9. ^ "Salt-N-Pepa – Push It" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  10. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 8939." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  11. ^ Danish Singles Chart 23 September 1988
  12. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 5, no. 31. July 30, 1988. p. 11. Retrieved March 11, 2020.
  13. ^ Nyman, Jake (2005). Suomi soi 4: Suuri suomalainen listakirja (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 951-31-2503-3.
  14. ^ "Íslenski Listinn Topp 10 (4. nóvember 1988)" (PDF) (in Icelandic). Dagblaðið Vísir. Retrieved 23 July 2018. {{cite magazine}}: Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  15. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Push It". Irish Singles Chart.
  16. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 30, 1988" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  17. ^ "Salt-N-Pepa – Push It" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  18. ^ "Salt-N-Pepa – Push It". Top 40 Singles.
  19. ^ "Salt-N-Pepa – Push It". VG-lista.
  20. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  21. ^ "Salt-N-Pepa – Push It". Singles Top 100.
  22. ^ "Salt-N-Pepa – Push It". Swiss Singles Chart.
  23. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  24. ^ "Salt-N-Pepa Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  25. ^ "Salt-N-Pepa Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard.
  26. ^ "Salt-N-Pepa Chart History (Dance Singles Sales)". Billboard. Retrieved March 11, 2020.
  27. ^ "Salt-N-Pepa Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard.
  28. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Salt-N-Pepa – Push It". GfK Entertainment charts.
  29. ^ "ARIA Charts – End Of Year Charts – Top 50 Singles 1988". ARIA. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  30. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1988" (in Dutch). Retrieved April 7, 2018.
  31. ^ "Top 100 Singles of '88" (PDF). RPM. Vol. 49, no. 10. December 24, 1988. p. 9. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  32. ^ "1988 Year End Eurocharts – Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 6, no. 52/1. January 1, 1989. p. 17. Retrieved March 11, 2020.
  33. ^ "Top 100-Jaaroverzicht van 1988". Dutch Top 40. Retrieved March 3, 2020.
  34. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1988" (in Dutch). Retrieved April 7, 2018.
  35. ^ "End of Year Charts 1988". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved February 29, 2020.
  36. ^ Scaping, Peter, ed. (1991). "Top 100 Singles: 1988". BPI YearBook 1989/90. London, England: British Phonographic Industry. pp. 64–65. ISBN 978-0-9061-5410-6.
  37. ^ "Top 100 Singles–Jahrescharts 1988" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  38. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Salt 'N Pepa – Push It". Music Canada. Retrieved September 26, 2019.
  39. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1987−1998" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-05-17. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
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  41. ^ "American single certifications – Salt 'N Pepa – Push It". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved March 14, 2019.