October 2, 2015


Erykah Badu and Her Son Turn Drake's "Hotline Bling" Into a Whole New Gem

Drake scooped up DRAM's "Cha Cha" and made it into his chart-dominating "Hotline Bling," and now Erykah Badu's adopted that one and grown it into "HOTLINE BLING BUT U CAINT USE MY PHONE MIX." It's really Badu's own thing, with the chorus being tweaked to the goofy, shuddery, "You used to call me on my cell—u—lar—de—vice—at—night."

Starting at the three-minute mark, we get a long voicemail with a bunch of humorous options to dial. ("If you're calling to ask for some free tickets in a city near you, and know she don't really fuck with you like that, press 7.") The back half tones down the punchy backing melody, keeps the burbling beat and eventually brings in dreamy bells, warm guitar, brushed drums and some keyboard noodling.

Badu's Soundcloud credits (this is the only song on her account) reveal that the cut was co-written by Seven Benjamin, the singer's almost-18-year-old son with André 3000. It was produced and arranged by Dallas up-and-comer Zach Witness, who also played keys.

The cover's amended title references a mixtape Badu has revealed is on the way, BUT U CAINT USE MY PHONE. It's been more than five years since New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh), marking the longest-ever wait period between Badu releases. Earlier this year she contributed to Donnie Trumpet & the Social Experiment's Surf album, the one with a bunch of Chance the Rapper action.