If you’re on social media, chances are you have encountered Kali’s viral hit “Area Codes.” The track recently hit No. 10 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and was streamed over 45 million times on Spotify.
“When I was making it, I was really having fun,” Kali told Complex in an interview. “I was having a conversation with my homegirl saying, ‘We need that summer anthem; that vibe just makes you feel good and wanna be outside with your friends that everybody relate to.’”
The Roswell, Georgia native says recording the song only took her 20 minutes.
“[I was] thinking about things that maybe haven’t happened to me but happened to my friends or I’ve heard,” she said. “I didn’t have to think too hard; when you have to think hard about records, those are never the ones that go up.”
Kali says the beat is what inspired the music video. She was reminded of her school days when she would be banging on the table and rapping with her friends.
The song’s fun and catchy lyrics is what made it go viral on TikTok. In early April, social media users started creating their own videos and mouthing the lyrics, “Got a white boy on my roster/He be feeding me pasta and lobster.”
“Every time I would get on TikTok or any social media platform, every other video was like, ‘I got a white boy on my roster,’ I couldn’t not hear myself on social media,” Kali said. “That’s when I was like, ‘It’s out of here.’ People would see me and be like, ‘I love your song.’ They started calling me ‘Pasta and Lobster.’ I don’t know how much I liked that [Laughs], but it just let me know this is the one.”
View this post on Instagram
The 22-year-old artist says she included pasta and lobster in the lyrics as an upscale alternative besides steak.
“Everybody loves pasta, and you know how they bring out super expensive lobster on a platter? That was the idea behind it,” she says. “I love lobster; pasta and lobster is actually really good together.”
The rapper also addressed a common reaction to the song. “Area Codes” shares a title with the 2001 track by Ludacris and Nate Dogg. Making a reference to the song wasn’t Kali’s intention, as she wasn’t familiar with the song.
“I never heard the Ludacris song before,” she says. “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.”