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Song Stories

“Push It”

Salt-N-Pepa | 1987

Originating as a B side to their cover of the Stax classic “Tramp,” Cheryl “Salt” James, Sandi “Pepa” Denton and Dee Dee “DJ Spinderella” Roper came up with the goods on this career-making, Grammy-nominated platinum single about working it on the dancefloor. “Push It” has been sampled and spliced to death since it debuted in 1987, yet the original track is as fresh and fly as when SNP — among the few original women of hip-hop — debuted it. “Most men will never believe ‘Push It’ was never about sex,” said James. “And that’s why the record went to Number One,” said Denton. “Everybody thought it was about sex.”

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Song Stories

“Money For Nothing”

Dire Straits | 1984

Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

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