A few weeks back Erykah Badu surprised us with a stunningly beautiful rework of Drake's "Hotline Bling". Stunning because Fat Belly Bella was back with the goods. Beautiful because, oh my god, how on sweet earth did she manage to make "Hotline Bling" sound even better. And a surprise because, considering the backstory between the pair, Badu's rework subtly referenced Andre 3000's "forever ever; forever ever!" lyric from Outkast's "Ms Jackson" - a track that, in itself, was written as an apology of sorts from 3 Stacks to Badu's mother. If it was meant to satiate our desire to hear Badu's upcoming release, then it worked; we were foaming at the mouth for weeks, pressing repeat on her version of "Hotline Bling" over Drake's.
Today sees the release of But You Caint Use My Phone: an eleven-track album that plays on the thematic of inter-connectivity through our telephone devices. In it there are tracks like "Mr Telephone Man," "Phone Down," and "I'll Call You Back." It sounds a little tedious, yes. But then remember that it's Badu we're talking about here, and recline into the knowledge the whole thing is gonna be one smooth ride, like cruising down the motorway in heated chair, a xanax in your mouth, a big gulp cup at your side.
We haven't listened to the whole thing yet, but one clear stand-out that everyone's already talking about is the track "Hello." Why? It features Andre 3000. And not only does it feature Andre 3000, it features Andre 3000 rapping his ass off, if rapping your ass off means letting couplets fall from your mouth like trickling water falling into a distant japanese flower garden. Seriously: "Hello" reopened our solar-plexus chakra and reinvigorated our desire to bulk-buy incense sticks all over again.
Listen below and read our interview with Erykah Badu here.