For me 2015 will be remembered as The Year of the Mixtape with the top contenders being Drake, Future and as of this holiday weekend, the incomparable Miss Erykah Badu. Erykah Badu is the epitome of the Carefree Black Girl: not because of her natural hair or deep lyrics, but because she is so unapologetically herself. She's like that cool ass aunty that you can chill with but will check you if need be.
Inspired by the beautiful simplicity of Drake's viral hit Hotline Bling, Badu crafted But You Caint Use My Phone in twelve days. There's something appealing about a collection of music made within a matter of weeks. When properly executed, a mixtape can capture a moment in time and illuminate the artistry of its creator and damn, Badu killed it!
The mixtape title refers to a popular line in Badu's 1997 song Tyrone. BYCUMP is a musical journey that explores the highs and lows of communication in the digital age. Erykah stays true to form and incorporates her usual brand of raw honesty, sex and comedy into each track.
On the trap and blues inspired Phone Down, Badu confidently asserts that she can captivate her lover and entice them to leave their cellular device at home. The quirky, upbeat U Don't Have to Call borrows from Usher's 2001 song of the same name. The mix tape concludes with an unconventional ballad with Badu's baby daddy Andre 3000.
But You Cain't Use My Phone builds on today's commercial hip hop, adding complex levels of soul and funk.