Released over Thanksgiving 2015, But You Caint Use My Phone is Erykah Badu’s first Mixtape, and follows a five-year hiatus during which she had promised a follow up concept project to New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh) that never surfaced.
Drake’s “Hotline Bling” serves as both the project’s musical backdrop and inspiration as Erykah expressed in an interview with Pitchfork:
It was Drake’s song that helped me reboot the music hard drive inside of me. Once I embodied that, I was off and running because I knew how to use the frequencies to fit my tastes, and I was able to manipulate Ableton and sound effects and voice boxes and all these things. I’ve always tampered with that, but not to this extent.
Recorded over 11 days in with Zach Witness as the primary producer in his Dallas bedroom studio, the tape takes influence from hip hop, R&B, jazz, and art rock, in what Erykah describes as “TRap & B.” While the lyrics convey that cellular devices are taking over not only lives, but intimate relationships.
Longtime lover André 3000 and Soundcloud rapper ItsRoutine, whose voice and lyrics were mistaken for Drake’s, are the only two features.