Erykah Badu collaborated with a trio of musicians to re-work Drake’s summertime lost-love jam “Hotline Bling,” and the mesmeric track is just the delicious offering fans have come to expect from Ms. Badu. Co-written by 7 Benjamin, her son with Andre 3000, the track is from Erykah’s forthcoming mixtape BUT U CAINT USE MY PHONE. Have a listen to it via the player below. The track even features a brief snippet of the Outkast rapper.
Bursting with a writhing rhythm and Badu’s paralyzing vocals, Badu switches up the chorus to read “he used to call me on my cellular device at night,” and adds a new verse, including an interlude of instructions on when and how to call her hotline, example “If you’re calling because you just saw her on BET, MTV or any other social media outlet and you’re checking to make sure you’re still in good standing, press 3.”
Drake’s “Hotline Bling” currently sits at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, and has already been covered by Sam Smith with Disclosure and Kehlani with Charlie Puth.
While there’s no word on when to expect Badu’s mixtape project in its entirety or if Drizzy Drake will be featured on it, he first detailed his friendship with Badu on his SoundCloud track “Days In the East.”
“Remember one night I went to Erykah Badu house / She made tea for me / We talked about love and what life could really be for me… She said, when that sh*t is real, you just know / And I was thinking bout you, you already know.”
Erykah has been talking for a while about a followup to 2010’s New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh, and while fans await her next studio album, she remains a relevant force through live performances and DJ gigs under the moniker DJ Lo Down Loretta Brown.
Badu recently announced a series of concerts that kick off this month, with one happening in NYC on December 2 at Kings Theatre and three taking place in her hometown of Dallas, peep the dates below.
- 10/22 San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino Highland, CA,
- 10/29 Bruton Theatre Dallas, TX
- 10/30 Bruton Theatre Dallas, TX
- 10/31 Bruton Theatre Dallas, TX
- 12/2 Kings Theatre Brooklyn, NY
During a 2014 chat with Interview magazine, Badu was asked if she thinks coming from Dallas as opposed to New York or L.A. enabled her to create the Neo Soul sound she’s renowned for.
“Maybe so. I didn’t know the rules, so I just did what I felt… I didn’t have any doubts until I became a bona fide adult and I heard other opinions. I’ve doubted so many things between now and when I came out with my first album, and I’ve had so many things happen since then. I’ve had two children. I’ve had three boyfriends. I’ve had a lot of things happen that can change your opinions and values and philosophies.”
Badu, who once said “I’m in the business of telling the truth-my truth,” has also cemented her brand as a style influencer, Vogue magazine notes.
“I make no distinction between what I wear on the street and the stage; it’s all just my style,” she said. “I don’t work with a stylist, and I never plan what I’m going to wear, it’s always an of-the-moment thing.”
44-year-old Badu, who is the mother of three, (Seven Sirius Benjamin, Puma Sabti Curry, Mars Merkaba Thedford), has a unique and oftentimes radical sense of Black beauty that evokes curiosity and has resonated across color lines.
“I’ve always enjoyed dressing my head, whether it’s head wraps, hats, or wigs, I’m not sure why,” she says. “I think that’s just where my mojo lives.” She added, “Accessories really are everything for me. I travel with a black body bag full of them when I’m on tour. I’ll threw in my Yoruba beads, my Maasai beads—and there’s space for six hats in my hat box.”
Earlier this year, Erykah Badu was featured in Adult Swim’s Black Dynamite The Musical. Back in April, she debuted a short Western film titled They Die By Dawn via Jay Z’s Tidal.
[Image via Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images, Brad Barket/Getty Images for New York Magazine, Jason Merritt/Getty Images]