Songs about Calabasas: why artists are so mesmerized by the 818


There is truly something about Calabasas. Maybe it is the sweet taste of suburbia within driving distance of LA and the beach, the privacy and security of living behind gates or the famous Health Nut salads. Whatever it is, popular artists seem to be drawn to Calabasas and continue to name-drop 91302 in their songs.

In the city, Just hearing the word “Calabasas” makes homecoming party buses erupt in cheers, brings more intensity to Bar Mitzvah mosh pits and incites unfortunate fist-pumping from hip-hop-loving moms in BMW SUVs. The “shoutouts” unify the community, as students and citizens alike enjoy hearing rappers’ lyrical takes on their city. Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, and Drake are the most notable rappers to represent C-Bass.

One of the latest artists to call out the zip code is rapper Travis Scott. He released his popular album Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight in early Sept. 2016, featuring a myriad of hip-hop artists like Kendrick Lamar, 21 Savage and Bryson Tiller. Scott presents a cheery point of view towards Calabasas. In his song “Butterfly Effect,” Scott describes the well-known Calabasas community of Hidden Hills as “deep off the main.” Scott is truly drawn to Calabasas, which may be attributed to the fact that it is the stomping ground of his girlfriend, Kylie Jenner.

Another artist to shoutout Calabasas in his music is Jay-Z, renowned rapper and businessman who holds the record for most number one albums by a solo artist on the US Billboard 200. He has countless albums, but his latest is 4:44, which he released in June 2017. In his song “Moonlight,” Jay-Z alludes to Calabasas as a place where dreams come true, but can be taken away.

“When you behind on your taxes, and you pawned all your chains, and they run off with your masters, and took it to Beverly Hills,” said Jay-Z. “While we’re in Calabasas.”

He later explains this concept of loss, referring to the Academy Awards in 2017, where Moonlight should have been awarded the Oscar from the get-go, only to have La La Land temporarily steal the spotlight. “Even when we win, we gon’ lose,” he explains.

The “King” of Calabasas hip-hop is none-other than Drake. For Drake, Calabasas has become a safe haven. In addition to being an escape from the glare of the media, his Hidden Hills pad, which he is now selling for $20 million, is a place he can just chill. In 2012, Drake purchased the $7.7 million Hidden Hills mansion down the street from Kanye. His song “4pm in Calabasas” describes his experience on Calabasas’ main streets as he cruises the 91302 in his Mercedes Maybach Pullman. He rides “big body, widebody, Calabasas road winder, Sunshinin’, waxed tires.”

“When ‘4pm in Calabasas’ came out, the track was so hot, that there was a fire,” said junior Colin Pool. “I don’t usually listen to rap, but this song is just so lit.”

Many songs have been written about Calabasas in modern rap music, and countless others are sure to come in the near future. American singer The Weeknd and rapper Kendrick Lamar are the latest celebrities to move to the area that have yet to acknowledge Calabasas in their music, keeping the people of Calabasas looking forward to another shoutout. •