One of the first albums to be released by an all-female rap group, Hot, Cool & Vicious is paced by its opening track, "Push It," one of the first rap songs to hit number one on the dance singles charts. Considering how little Salt-n-Pepa actually rap on "Push It," which is all about its instrumental hook, they maintain a surprisingly strong presence over most of Hot, Cool & Vicious. No, they aren't technical virtuosos on the mic, but their fairly basic raps are carried off with brash confidence and enthusiasm. Some of the other key tracks borrow ideas from outside sources: the single "Tramp" is a rap remake of the Otis & Carla soul classic, and "The Show Stopper" is an answer record to Doug E. Fresh's "The Show." The duo's sass comes across very well on "My Mic Sounds Nice" and "I'll Take Your Man," and they're equally assertive on "Chick on the Side." In the end, the album needs a little more weight to really come across well, but it's fun and danceable all the same.
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AllMusic Review by Steve Huey