Salt N Pepa – Hot, Cool & Vicious
Salt N Pepa released their debut album “Hot, Cool & Vicious” on December 8th, 1986. The album was produced by Hurby “Luv Bug” Azor and dropped on New Plateau Records.
Everybody and their mama knows that Salt N Pepa are known for their mega-hit “Push It“. But these girls are more than a one hit wonder. In their heyday, they were the queens of Hip Hop. For Some reason or other, I really thought that Run DMC and Salt N Pepa would hook up and get married. They were that monumental! So let’s start with their greatest track even though it was not included in this record until after it was reissued.
“Push It” uses a sample of Coal Kitchen’s “Keep On Pushing” and the infectious sexually tongue and cheek lyrics will make you get off that wall and get you to the dance floor. The video was played day and night on MTV to the point you would use that time to go to the bathroom or make a sandwich.
Salt and Pepa’s here, and we’re in effect
Want you to push it, babe
Coolin’ by day then at night working up a sweat
C’mon girls, let’s go show the guys that we know
How to become number one in a hot party show
Now push it
“Tramp” was another dope track that had a dope video to match. This was the first time we would get a glimpse of the girls and you can say they were pretty hot! There was no Spinderella, but we did get to see Play from Kid N Play, Hurby, and Dana Dane make cameos in the video. It samples Otis Reddings song of the same name plus of course “The Champ” by The Mohawks and the lyrics flip the script on all the male “skeezer” tracks from back in the day.
Have you ever seen a dude who’s stupid and rude?
Whenever he’s around he dogs your mood
I know a guy like that, girl
He thinks he’s God’s gift to the world
You know that kind, excited all the time
With nothing but sex on the mind
I’m no stunt, on me he can’t front
I know the real deal, I know what they want
It’s me (Why?) Because I’m so sexy
It’s me (What?) Don’t touch my body! (Boy!)
Cuz you see I ain’t no skeezer
But on a real tip I think he’s a…
I’ll Take Your Man
One of my favorite tracks is “I’ll Take Your Man” where Hurby takes the beat from “Flash Light” by Parliament and a guitar riff from “Owner of a Lonely Heart” by YES while Salt and Pepa warn other females that if you mess with them, they can take their man from under their noses! It seems like they rap forever and sound they are out for blood! I was sold on them with this track!
I’ll take your man, that’s right but just for spite
Because you tried to dis me when I was on the mic
But I really don’t want him, the guy ain’t fly, shoot
He can’t afford to buy a Fila suit
Runs the same old gear, never has fresh wear
What he whispered in my ear I can’t repeat here
I don’t wanna seem to be so damn mean
But you’re the hippiest critter I ever seen
Before I got on the stage you wished me good luck
Turned around and told your friends I suck
Well look at you now – you ain’t got nobody
Searching for love in a fifth of Bicardi
You look bad, girl, you look like you’re dying
Ain’t no use in crying – I’ll take your man
Yo, Cher, school this fool!
I’ll take your man, your fiancee, your husband
You ain’t Alice, this ain’t Wonderland
And when I say I will you know I can
Don’t mess with me cuz I’ll take your man
Beauty and the Beat
When I first heard “Beauty and the Beat“, I was intrigued by the sample they used and it was one of the first times I had to look up the song to hear what the original sounded like. Back in 1986 we didn’t have the internet so I wasn’t able to find out that it was The Meters “Handclapping Song” that had me at “Oooh Baby!”
Listen hard and tell me what you hear
Is it noise or is it def beats in your ear?
You said you want one, and now you got some
Vicious snare, high hats, and a bass drum
First the mix empress to impress you
Cutting right on time and I’ll bet you
Didn’t know it (did you?), you can’t believe it (could you?)
Word to life, I swear, we wouldn’t kid you
And she can cut it up like a wild animal
Slicing and dicing away as a cannibal does
Cuz only a beauty can make you people clap with me
My Mic Sounds Nice
Lastly, “My Mic Sounds Nice” had me pressing the rewind button over and over again and if I missed it, the cassette would click over to the A-Side and back to “Push It”. In the video below, I am not sure what happened to the crowd. It almost seems like they are doing the mannequin challenge!
Cuz I’m oh-aye, I’m on, I’m on
I’m oh-aye, I’m so damn on
Like a grasshopper hoppin’ on the morning lawn
Like a needle on a record when it plays a song
Like Little Boy Blue blowin’ on his horn
And you know I got to be on
MCs rockin’ and shockin’, but it won’t last
Salt’s on the mic, and I’m kickin’
Ask me no questions, I’ll tell no lies
It’s just a little warning, a word to the wise
You been hopin’ and scopin’, layin’ and prayin’
But on the bottom is where you’re staying
You’re wack, I thought you understood
You’re not related to me so you could never be good
I know you come from Babylon (And you know why?)
Cuz you’re a Babble-On MC (That’s right)
You babble on the microphone about what you wish
But could never be
So please don’t tell me how you’re gonna rock
Don’t brag about the things that you ain’t got
Don’t feed me lies cuz now I’m full
My cow just died, I don’t need your bull
To think that these girls have been rocking the mic for 30 years! This album made them a household name and it was just the beginning of a long and illustrious career that gave us so many hits! We salute you ladies! PEACE!