Every bit of new music from Erykah Badu—original, cover or something in between—is reason for fans everywhere to celebrate. Yesterday, the R&B icon gave us even more reason to be excited.
“Phone Down” is from Ms. Badu’s upcoming mixtape, “You Cain’t Use My Phone.” Building on the motifs in her “Hotline Bling” remix—and drawing from the lyrics of her beloved “Tyrone“—the entire mixtape will revolve around phone calls. She described the mixtape in an interview with The Fader, and announced that it will drop on iTunes at the end of the month:
I’m in love with this mixtape, it feels good. I think it’s a whole new frequency for the planet and I just wanted to do it because it’s inspiring me to write my new album—it’s kind of like the buffer in-between. I would like to describe it as a creative process and I got some really good surprises for you guys. I cannot wait until the end of the month, it will be on iTunes at the end of the month. But along the way, I’m going to drop some freebies and some underground shit just so the people can have something to listen to.
“You Cain’t Use My Phone” will be Badu’s first release of multiple original songs since 2010’s “New Amerykah Part Two.” “Phone Down” and its mellow, electrionic-driven sounds are vaguely reminiscent of “Hotline Bling,” perhaps indicating a new sonic direction for the singer whose earlier albums were high-water marks for the “neo-soul” era.
In addition, Badu recently hosted the Soul Train Awards, which will be broadcast on Centric on Sunday, November 29.
Listen to “Phone Down” below and let us know what you think!