Salt-N-Pepa: Our Life in 15 Songs

The hip-hop pioneers tell the stories behind "Push It," "Shoop," Whatta Man" and more

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"Tramp" (1987)

Pepa: Being such a male-dominated world, we was calling out men for what it is, for what they were – tramps.

Salt: It was the A-side. "Tramp" was the song that we were putting out. But we needed a B-side, and the B-side was a rush. It was like, "All right guys, we need a B-side, let's throw something together," which ended up being "Push It," Salt-N-Pepa's biggest, most popular hit song ever. But "Tramp" was the song that we felt was the record.

Pepa: "Push It" to me was very pop. And back then, you were called "sell-out" to be pop. So "Tramp" to me was a more street-credit kind of record than "Push It." So I was glad "Push It" was on the B-side. I was betting for "Tramp." And that was crazy how it flipped. I mean, we had the video and everything first for "Tramp."

Salt: That was the first video we ever did. We did it at the Latin Quarter in Manhattan, which was a club that we used to frequent on the weekends. I couldn't sleep before anything important happened. I was really tired and remember just doing takes over and over and over again. I look back at that video and I'm like, "Wow, we were so young, we were so green." Our little dance steps were so cute. 

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