Rap legends Salt-N-Pepa sat down with us to talk about “Push It” being reimagined by Frito-Lay for a Flamin’ Hot Super Bowl commercial, as well as by Megan Thee Stallion in her new song, “Flamin’ Hottie.” Check out what the ladies had to say about the Houston star reigning supreme and read the advice Cheryl “Salt” James and Sandra “Pepa” Denton have for other women in the Rap game.
What started as a B-side to another single, “Tramp,” ended up being one of Salt-N-Pepa’s biggest hits. This dynamic duo materialized out of New York City in 1985 as two young ladies looking to rap their ways onto the charts. No one could have expected that in 1987 when they dropped “Push It”—a single that would get a re-release the following year—that the song would become an RIAA-certified Platinum classic. Thirty-five years after they first decided to rock oversized leather jackets while telling the world to “push it real good,” the single was once again re-imagined, this time for a Super Bowl LVI commercial courtesy of Frito-Lay’s â¯Flamin’ Hot chips.
We previously shared Megan Thee Stallion’s “Flamin” Hottie” single, also a partnership with the brand, but that wasn’t the only standout from the Houston icon’s single. “Flamin’ Hottie” samples “Push It,” merging generations of women in Rap to help celebrate one of the most-talked-about sports events of the year.
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With the likes of Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, and Kendrick Lamar lighting up the game’s halftime performance, keen attention has been placed on Hip Hop legends who’ve paved the way for the artists storming the charts today. We received an opportunity to catch up with Rap icons Cheryl “Salt” James and Sandra “Pepa” Denton, and they not only spoke with us about Frito-Lay breathing new life into their 35-year old single, but they took some time to share wisdom for women with Rap star dreams who may hope to carve out a similarly long-lasting career. They recognize Megan Thee Stallion as a woman staking her claim in the Rap game, and as veterans, they expressed respect for her talents and how the Houston Hottie has spread messages of positivity.
“She’s reigning, she’s doing a lot of amazing things, and like, what Salt-N-Pepa has represented…like the empowerment with the fans, teaching about self-worth and loving yourself, and [to] keep pushing it no matter what,” Pepa said of Megan.
As two entertainers who have spent most of their lives in the spotlight, often being asked similar questions dozens of times, Salt-N-Pepa were still more than happy to speak with us about their careers. “Me and Pep, we just appreciate being celebrated all these years later,” Salt added. “Not many artists start off and then end up having this type of longevity, so we’re really, really happy. Second debut in the Super Bowl.”
Read our exclusive interview with Salt-N-Pepa below to learn more about them joining New Kids on the Block, En Vogue, and Rick Astley on The Mixtape Tour, and more.
HNHH: Hi, it’s so nice to meet you! So, let’s start off with Salt, if you could just speak on the Frito-Lay re-imagining your song all these years later.
Salt: It’s exciting to collaborate with an iconic brand like Frito-Lay and also Megan, and the Super Bowl, and Salt-N-Pepa, and Charlie Puth to create this amazing commercial. It’s interesting, the 35th anniversary of “Push It” is coming up next month. So, this is very appropriate. But for me and Pep, we just appreciate being celebrated all these years later. Not many artists start off and then end up having this type of longevity. So, we’re really, really happy. Second debut in the Super Bowl. “Push It” just has a mind of its own. Just out there doing its own thing, child.
It’s just going to be floating around for another 35 years [laughs]. And Pepa, talk about the relationship and mutual respect you guys have for Megan Thee Stallion. She is one of this generation’s leading forces with women in Rap. She’s carrying a torch that you guys sparked all those years ago. Speak to us about her sampling “Push It” for her track as well.
Pepa: I thought it was great because, like you said, she’s reigning, she’s doing a lot of amazing things, and like, what Salt-N-Pepa has represented…like the empowerment with the fans, teaching about self-worth and loving yourself, and [to] keep pushing it no matter what, stay focused. I think that the collaboration and what she speaks on, she was able to maintain her hotness as well [as being] taken very serious. You know, graduating college. Doing it all. It was a good thing and a good fit.
Salt: We were supposed to go back to college, we never did, so go Megan. Do that girl!
HNHH: I totally get it! In talking about Megan and just your legacy, there is a lot of talk from this generation of artists about wanting to have longevity. You have been able to do that. What advice do you wish you had when you first started that you now can give to a younger generation of women in Hip-Hop as they pursue that sort of legacy that you guys have established. I’ll start off with Salt.
Salt: I say creatively be yourself. Be original, because the audience, I think, can detect the cookie-cutter type of vibe. I think Salt-N-Pepa brought fun, fashion, and femininity to Hip-Hop. We were totally two round-the-way girls having a good time. What you saw is what it was. They really gravitated towards us being ourselves. That’s so important.
The other thing I think is, I mean, it’s cliche, but pay attention to your business. It seems like this generation of women, from what I can see, appear to be very much in control of not only their image and their voice but their coins. It took Salt-N-Pepa a long time. So, talking to your business manager and your lawyer and really actually reading your contracts and knowing what’s going on. Because it’s so easy for the industry and the people around you to take advantage of you because they know when you’re not paying attention. When you get to be our age, you want to still be getting your residuals and making sure you can chill if you want to. You don’t have to hit the road [laughs]. You know what I mean? Speaking of the road, New Kids on the Block Tour coming up. May 10th starts out in Cincinnati.
You know, I’ve never seen Salt-N-Pepa live. I know there are a lot of people that are wanting to see you guys take to the stage. What can we expect on this tour from the greatest Hip-Hop female duo of all time?
Salt: Going back to the ’90s! [laughs]
Pepa: Yep, back to the ’90s! It’s going to feel like a block party. We are like the girls next door. A lot of our fans feel that freedom to come to our show with their door knocker earrings or their eight-ball jackets. They be dressing up with their cut up jeans [laughs]. It’s a lot of fun and reminiscing on the 90s. You feel the energy. Rock the Bells. You feel the energy. We love our fans because they’ve been rocking with us for over 36 years.
Salt: It’s amazing. It feels like back in the day, we were performing for the audience. Now, it feels like we’re all just having a party together and enjoying the nostalgic vibe in the house.
Check out the Frito-Lay Flamin’ Hot Super Bowl LVI commercial below and catch Salt-N-Pepa on tour this year!