But You Caint Use My Phone
After releasing New Amerykah Part Two, Badu embarked on a five-year hiatus to journey through Africa, hoping to find inspiration for her next record. Who would’ve thought, then, that Drake’s “Hotline Bling” would be the thing to bring her back? But You Caint Use My Phone, born from “Bling,” is a multi-faceted meditation on relationships, telecommunications, intimacy, environmentalism and more filtered through electronica, soul, trap, funk and art rock. It doesn’t strive for definitive answers, but don’t brush it off. “Dial’Afreaq” ties the record together, humorously blaming cellphones for the impending bee extinction, while concluding that we’re already too dependent. On “Cel U Lar Device” (the “Bling” cover), she blames physical distance and lack of telecommunication for a failing relationship. “Hello”, the André 3000 duet, bridges telecommunication with reconciliation. These covers and collaborations make the record reach meta heights with collaboration becoming another form of communication. Combined with Badu’s experimentation (tuning forks and Tibetan monk bowls play a part) But U Caint Use My Phone is unparalleled in its genius.