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Erykah Badu Builds on ‘Hotline Bling’ Cover With Phone-Themed Mixtape

Genre-blurring singer-songwriter plans to explore “whole new frequency” on 11-track ‘But You Caint Use My Phone’

Erykah Badu

Erykah Badu plans to explore a "whole new frequency" on upcoming mixtape 'But You Caint Use My Phone'

Graeme Mitchell/Redux

Drake’s meme-friendly smash “Hotline Bling” has earned a surplus of wide-ranging cover versions – but Erykah Badu‘s remake inspired an entire telephone-themed mixtape, But You Caint Use My Phone, for the psych-soul singer-songwriter. The 11-track project will be available exclusively via iTunes for one week, with streaming at Apple Music, followed by a wide download and streaming release on December 4th.

Phone, whose title references Badu’s 1997 hit “Tyrone,” is the musician’s first full-length project since 2010’s New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh). The mixtape is built on the lyrical theme of “our own reliance on staying inter-connected,” according to a statement.

Erykah Badu

The project began life this fall, after Badu recorded her “Hotline Bling” remix (now retitled “Cell U Lar Device”) as a birthday gift for a friend. Gaining creative momentum, she began working with producer Zach Witnessin and wrote, recorded and mixed the album across 12 days in Dallas, Texas. 

Phone will feature “several surprises,” including a few unspecified guests, and finds Badu combining elements of psychedelia, hip-hop, smooth R&B, jazz, art-rock and found sounds into a style she’s dubbed “TRap&B.” Badu also experimented with a tuning fork and Tibetan singing bowls, resulting in what she describes as a “whole new frequency.” 

Badu released her “Hotline Bling” remix in October, following it up earlier this month with “Phone Down,” another mixtape track. In a recent interview with Noisey, the singer praised Drake’s creativity and explained how “Bling” gave her a musical boost. 

“I’m writing all the time, but recently I got the bug back,” she said. “When it comes, it comes, and I can’t force it, but recently I got it back with ‘Hotline Bling’ and all the other things I’ve been experimenting with … I love Drake because he’s ever-evolving. He keeps forecasting what will happen. He pays attention to what’s going on and then he embodies it.”

But You Caint Use My Phone Track List

1. “Caint Use My Phone Suite”
2. “Hi”
3. “Cell U Lar Device”
4. “Phone Down”
5. “U Use To Call Me”
6. “Mr. Telephone Man”
7. “U Don’t Have To Call”
8. “Whats Yo Phone Number”
9. “Dial’afreaq”
10. “I’ll Call U Back”
11. “Hello”

In This Article: Drake, Erykah Badu

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