Ludacris has admitted that the amount of women’s phone numbers he had to keep up with in his heyday inspired one of his biggest hits.
In a recent interview with GQ on Thursday (June 1), the rapper and actor broke down his 2001 cult-classic hit “Area Codes” and how his former life as a player influenced the Nate Dogg chorus-driven track.
“So ‘Area Codes’ came about in such an organic way,” Ludacris began. “This is my first time traveling the world, going from city to city, and definitely picking up numbers and hollering at women in every single city. So, I had this mental rolodex no matter where I was at, I know if I was in Jersey, I was like, ‘201,’ if I’m in New York, ‘718.’ I would have all these different numbers.
“We was sitting in a limo one day,the whole crew. And somebody was like, ‘What’s 305?’ And we was like, ‘N-gga, that’s Miami, that’s one of yo hoes in Miami.’ Somebody else would ring and it would be, ‘Oh it’s 813. Oh man that’s Tampa, you gotta know that.
“It was almost like this extreme game that we would play because we would never record their names. We just got the phone numbers so you would have to remember what city every area code came to so that record was 100 percent organic.”
He added: “In terms of working with Nate Dogg, I believe I sent him the record. We’d work with him in studio so many times but this particular time, we sent it to him and waited for it to come back. When we got the record back, we knew it was an instant classic. That one I knew.”
Referencing back to “Area Codes,” Kali recently used the single’s lyrics while claiming that she never heard the track before. The young rapper’s “Area Codes” has been steadily rising in popularity since its release earlier this year – even making for her Billboard Hot 100 debut when it arrived at No. 54 on the chart dated May 20. As of Thursday (June 1), the song sits at No. 33.
Talking to Complex about the song’s success, Kali put down the assumed notion that the track was in homage to Ludacris’ smash 2001 hit of the same name – revealing she’d never even heard his version.
“I didn’t even know there was any connection,” she explained. “Like, I never heard the Ludacris song before. So when people asked me that, I truly didn’t know what they were talking about. It was just super organic. When I hear people saying, ‘Oh, this is a Ludacris homage,’ I’m like, ‘Okay, but I really didn’t know anything about it.’ It was just like I literally felt like I got hoes in different area codes.”
While it gives context to note that she was born just one year before the song was released, some people on social media were upset that she wouldn’t know about it at all.
“Who’s her a&r?!?” one person wrote. Another said: “I mean that right there is the problem with a lot of these new rappers… how you go in a lane and so called profession and not know of what came before you? And nobody producing the track told her?!?”
Not everyone was upset, however, with some giving her a pass for her age. “I believe her… she’s 2, in music years. How would she know Luda or more importantly Nate dogg?” someone said, while another added: “Y’all she is 22. It’s not that hard to believe.”