Bite-sized Album Review #14: Salt-N-Pepa’s ‘Blacks’ Magic’

Salt-N-Pepa has been a group that I have wanted to get into for a LONG time. I don’t know why I never made the move before now, but I’m glad that I finally pushed myself towards their music. Because I’ve really been off my game on listening to female rappers and songwriters. I’ve been feeling like a traitor lol. So it’s been nice to engage more with the ladies. Blacks’ Magic (1990) popped up – for me – through a Reddit post of someone announcing that Vinyl Me, Please was releasing a special edition of the project. And since I’ve been looking into getting more Black women into my record collection, this felt like the perfect opportunity to do that.

Thematic Cohesion

Thematically, it was a really interesting album to listen to; I actually really enjoyed the experience. I feel like a lot of the things that Salt-N-Pepa talk about on Blacks’ Magic aren’t things that I haven’t heard before, but they are things that I haven’t heard from female rappers very often. It felt like the stuff I’m used to hearing from the mens, so it was amazing to hear those same things come from women. Especially the stuff about race and sex – they’re two completely different topics, but they both feel like topics Black women are often silenced on – especially Black women who perform. I really like that they took the opportunity to be as loud as possible about them. They sounded so confident and sure of themselves, and I was HERE FOR IT!

Sonic Cohesion

Sonically, it feels like a 90s New York album LOL. If you’ve listened to a 90s New York hip hop album before you know what I’m talking about. There’s not too much of a difference on this album from one from Run DMC, Lord Finesse, or any other 80s/90s rap artist/producer from NY. But that’s not a bad thing at all! Like I said, I like that Salt-N-Pepa and DJ Spinderella are able to inhabit that same space, and they don’t have to make a completely different type of sound to exist in; they made a place in the same environment. I loved DJ Spinderella’s scratches throughout the project as well.

Vibe Check

I think the overall vibe, like I mentioned earlier, is pure confidence. I don’t really know if I have anything more to say about it LOL. I just love how POWERFUL and assertive they sound on this project. It makes me feel more confident listening to it.  I tend to find power in other Black women, so I wasn’t surprised that I was feeling quite empowered by their presence in my eardrums.

Replay Value

I think me buying this project for my record player will give it a slightly higher replay value in the future, but until it comes, I don’t see me listening to it too much. That’s not different than a lot of other projects that I listen to, though. It takes a special project for me to listen to it all the time. I’m hoping that the more I listen to it, the more I’ll love it. It was a solid project regardless, though.

3 songs i dig…

“Expression” “Negro Wit’ An Ego” and “Let’s Talk About Sex”

Featured Image Credit: https://ew.com/tv/2019/03/28/lifetime-miniseries-salt-n-pepa/


Overall Album Rating


(listen to Blacks’ Magic on spotify, by clicking on the image below)

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