Check Out Erykah Badu And A Bunch Of Locals Reinterpreting Drake's Hotline Bling.
Last night, Erykah Badu blew up the Internet with the late-night release of her cover of Drake's summer slow jam “Hotline Bling.”
Only, well, her “Hotline Bling But U Cain't Use My Phone Mix” is as much of a reinterpretation and re-imagining of the track as it is a direct spinoff.
Scrapping all of the production from 40 on Drake's version, Ms. Badu's version was co-written with Seven Benjamin — her son with Outkast's Andre 3000 — and also makes use of several of Badu's fellow Booker T. Washington High School alumni. Zach Witness produced the track, and new guitar and drum parts come courtesy of Raché's Benjamin Hixon and Ethan Worland, respectively.
Check it out.
The new track comes from Erykah's forthcoming BUT U CAINT USE MY PHONE mixtape, which of course borrows its name from the last line of her 1997 hit, “Tyrone.” This time, though, Badu's the one not answering the phone. To wit, our favorite part of the song is the interlude that finds us listeners dialing Badu up only to get her machine, at which point a recorded Badu announces the following:
You've reached the Erykah Badu hotline. If you're calling for Erykah, press 1. If you're calling to wish her a happy birthday, Kwanzaa, MLK, Black History Month, Juneteenth, or Hanukkah, press 2. If you're calling because you just saw her on BET, MTV, or any of the social media outlets and you're checking to make sure you're still in good standing, press 3. If you're calling to beg for some shit in general, press 4. If you're calling to beg for the shit but this is that pre-call before the actual begging, press 5. If you've already made the pre-call and this is the actual call to beg, press 6. 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. If you're calling to book Erykah to flip the first burger at your company barbecue or to DJ at your little cousin's Slip 'n' Slide party, press 8. If you're calling to say peace and don't really fit into any of those descriptions, text me, because I really don't answer voicemail.
That aspect is just one of this song's many nods to Badu's recent past. Another phone-related song from Drake — “Days in the East” — lyrically finds the 6 God hanging out at Erykah's house and having a heart-to-heart over a cup of tea. Spits Drake in that one: “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 shit is real, you just know.”
Also, you may recall that Zach Witness earned some love from The Queen herself earlier this year thanks to his remix of Badu's Mama's Gun track, “Bag Lady.”
Do we sense the beginning of a long and fruitful working relationship of the illest order? Here's hoping.