About

This music video for the song “Area Codes” by rapper Ludacris, featuring Nate Dogg, was released in 2001. The song is about the alleged numerous women dispersed across the world -- their locations indicated by their United States telephone area codes -- with whom Ludacris has either had sex with, or would be readily available for sex if he were to call. The chorus repeated throughout the song is, “I’ve got hoes, I’ve got hoes, in different area codes, area codes, area codes. I’ve got hoes.” The primary imagery of the video features Ludacris, a plane and several scantily-clad women with area codes emblazoned across their tight-fitted, cropped shirts or bikinis, dancing suggestively in high heels. The music video also features clips from Rush Hour 2, an action comedy movie starring Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker, since the song was part of the movie’s soundtrack. During the Rush Hour 2 scenes that flash through the music video, Ludacris raps lyrics such as “I bang cock in Bangkok,” “I’m the thriller in Manilla,” “Schlong in Hong Kong.”

Discussion

How are women portrayed in this song and music video? How are men portrayed? What words and images are used to communicate these portrayals? How is clothing used to this end?

What are the class implications of this song and video? How does travel and the image of the plane fit into the topic of the song?

How are Asians represented in the lyrics of the song? How does the video reinforce or highlight these representations? Are Asian women and Asian men represented differently? Thinking through the wordplay in the lyrics with different cities across different Asian countries, how is nationality represented?