Erykah Badu Delivers ‘But You Caint Use My Phone’ Mixtape
Erykah Badu just blew our minds. In her first project in five years, But You Caint Use My Phone, the 44-year-old songstress shows off her musicianship as she plays around with soundscapes in her melodic journey with the cellular phone.
The collection boasts the first song between herself and her ex-boyfriend, Andre 3000, as well as a few verses from Drake thrown in the mix. The tape, which was inspired by Drizzy's "Hotline Bling," follows the theme of phones.
The title song, "Caint Use My Phone," starts off the 11-track experience. With an almost-forgotten sound -- the dial tone -- the song begins adding on layers of dial tones, piano chords, chimes and breath noises. "You can call it but you can't use my phone," she sings before getting into a alternative ways he can get his words across.
"You better use telepathy cause you can't use my phone," she sings. "Put a message in a bottle but you can't use my phone. You better use morse code cause you can't use my phone." The song ends with an applause -- much deserved for the Queen of neo-soul's return.
The majority of the tape comes off as riffs and musings from the "On & On" singer like "Hi" where she simply repeats "Hey Hello Hello Hey Hello" and "Mr. Telephone Man" where she samples New Edition's classic tune of the same name. The eclectic singer also samples Usher's "U Don't Have to Call."
But, one of the standouts lies in the cocky "Phone Down," a single released last week where she states she can make her boo put his phone down and pay attention to her. She also promises to do the same. Drake brings his A game for two features, "U Used to Call Me" and "What's Yo Phone Number / Telephone." The first samples his "Hotline Bling" -- because only Erykah Badu can remix your song and have you featured on it. While the latter creates a smooth love track for the grown folks.
But it all falls down to the final track "Hello" featuring Three Stacks. While Badu is featured on OutKast's "Humble Mumble" and "Liberation," she's never gone toe-to-toe with her ex-boo.
The "Tyrone" singer brings her musings from "Hi" in the beginning before Andre 3000 starts into his rhymes. "Okay, challenge / Leave your phone unlocked and right side up / Walk out the room without throwin' your b---- off balance / It's either on or off, ain't no in between when it's valid," he raps. At the end, Badu pleads for him to never change.
Overall, But You Caint Use My Phone is the perfect tape to groove to -- especially as cuffin' season is in full effect. Stream the project below.