Dec 11, 2015

Review: But You Caint Use My Phone - @FatBellyBella (Written By: @Natural_Nation)

Listening to But You Caint Use My Phone was like getting a chance to sneak in to the studio and eavesdrop on an Erykah Badu jam session. It's one of those projects where less is more. It's creative, eccentric, gives us everything we love about Ms. Badu, and it's simple, in a great way. Not the way trap music is simple but the way dance music in the 70's was simple. They could repeat one word on a nine minute track and for nine straight minutes people would take their time sweating their hair out. It didn't need much to be good, it just was. There was a thought process put into the listening experience.

In general But You Caint Use My Phone is a compilation of tributes to songs that revolve around phones. The very first track is an homage to one of Erykah's most recognizable singles Call on Tyrone. The song carries the same melody adjusted with different lyrics. Hi, one of my favorite tracks is barely long enough to be anything more than an interlude. It immediately reminded me of how angry I was listening to Fertilizer on channel Orange. So perfect, yet so short.

Now, I have to be completely honest when I first heard Cell U Lar Device as a stand alone single I didn't make it to the second verse. I initially didn't give it the time of day and this is coming from a hardcore Erykah fan. On first impression I summed it up to be a poor remake. Boy was I salty when I actually made it through the whole track. It's now one of my favorite songs on the mixtape. Lesson learned, never doubt the Mother.

Phone Down is probably my least favorite song but the concept is interesting. Honestly it's embarrassing how relevant the premise is. Throughout the song Erykah repeats the words "I can make you put your phone down." It's an effortless but meaningful statement. Do you know the kind of power you would have in this day and age if you could make someone put their phone down? From now on I'm using it as a pick up line. U Use to Call Me is similar to Hi in that it feels like an interlude. But there is a rapper featured on this track that sounds like a perfect version of Drake, with the sniffles. Who are you!? The people want to know!

Mr. Telephone Man (track six) and U Don't Have to Call (track seven) are both tributes to previously made songs. The former is New Edition's 1984 hit Mr. Telephone Man and the latter is Usher's 2001 hit U Don't Have To Call. Track 7 made my favorite list easily. I love the eclectic sound and thanks to my pops caught the Parliament style bird call in the beginning of the song. Drake with a cold makes another appearance on Whats yo phone number. This track has a modern sound, generally attributed to the snares in the background. It wouldn't surprise me if this was a mixtape favorite.

Listening to Dial'Afreaq immediately brought me to Looking for the Perfect Beat by Afrika Bambaataa & The Soulsonic Force. AKA' 1980's breaking anthem. It has a very 80's hip-hop, breakdancing vibe which I will admit didn't fully connect with the opening segment about our complete disregard for the life of bee's but still very cool none the less. I'll Call You Back has an uncanny resemblance to Post Malone's White Iverson. Another smooth transition to Hello.

Hello is the closing song on this 11 part mixtape. I mean what is there to really say about this song. It's Andre 3000! It's the ultimate collaboration. These are two people I used to wish would get married when I was younger. Neither of them can do wrong in my eyes, but it really is a lovely collaboration. They also bring along their son Seven for the ride. Everything from the melody to the tone of their voice's is a perfect combination. It's just a bonus that it happens to be a great song and a reminder of what happens when two artists get together and blend seamlessly; like Toni Braxton and BabyFace. Bleh, it couldn't have ended on a better note. I'm done. Make sure to listen to my favorite tracks, as listed below. But You Can't Use My Phone is available on iTunes.

Rating: 4.75 out of 5

Favorite Tracks 
2. Hi
 3. Cel U Lar Device 
7. U Don't Have to Call
11. Hello 


Multimedia Journalist, Founder and Chief Editor of WTM Host of A-Side B-Side Podcast and more. I like to talk about stuff and write it down. Sometimes to a microphone. Either way, I need you to feel this.

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