Doritos Super Bowl Ad Has Salt-N-Pepa Fans Worried For A Surprising Reason

Even those who aren't fans of hip hop duo Salt-N-Pepa are sure to recognize their hit song "Push It." Though released in the '80s, the song has remained popular enough to earn them not one but two Super Bowl TV slots, the first being in a Geico ad in 2014. For 2022's game, a cover of "Push It" by Megan Thee Stallion and Charlie Puth was featured in a Frito Lay commercial for Cool Ranch Doritos and Flamin' Hot Cheetos. In case you missed it, the commercial shows a group of wild animals discovering the bags of chips accidentally dropped by a zoologist observing them from a tree above. As more animals begin to gather around the chips, a bird begins to sing "Push It" while a fox and herd of buffalos beat box.

Considering "Push It" plays a major role in the plot of the commercial, it has viewers across Twitter praising the creativity, but also expressing concern over whether Salt-N-Pepa are getting paid by Frito Lay for the use of the song. "I hope Salt n Pepa own the rights to Push it cause it's used constantly," someone else said. "Wonder if #SaltnPepa seeing some coin off that commercial?" another added.

So is the worry warranted? Let's say just say Salt-N-Pepa isn't sweating a thing.

Do Salt-N-Pepa own Push It?

Super Bowl commercials are known for being profitable, so if Salt-N-Pepa do own the rights to the song, the one-minute ad spot would rake in a serious amount of money. The good news is, Cheryl James and Sandra Denton, the artists behind Salt-N-Pepa, actually do. However, it wasn't always that way.

According to Billboard, until August 2004, record label Noise in the Attic had the rights to Salt-N-Pepa's royalties. That means before that date, if "Push It" had been featured in a Super Bowl commercial, James and Denton wouldn't have seen any money from it. But after the label was brought to trial in 2004, the court ruled that the company "cannot have an indefinite right to receive and administer record royalties."

Even though the Doritos commercial used a cover version of "Push It," Rolling Stone explains that music royalties are collected any time a creation is "sold, distributed, embedded in other media or monetized in any other way." By that definition, the Super Bowl ad is no exception, and Salt-N-Pepa told Showbiz Cheatsheet that they were actually approached directly by Frito Lay, with James gushing, "We love that the song continues to be celebrated, 35 years later." Get it, ladies!