If you thought Erykah Badu was fun to watch as the host of the Soul Train Awards, then get ready to see her on the big screen. She’ll be starring in the upcoming film, The Land executive produced by legendary rapper, Nas. Here’s a synopsis of the film from Pitchfork, “Directed by Steve Caple Jr., the film focuses on four Cleveland teenagers with dreams of professional skateboarding who get ensnared in a drug operation.”
The Land, which will premiere in January 2016 at Sundance, also stars Michael K. Williams (“The Wire”, “Boardwalk Empire”) and rapper Machine Gun Kelly.
Since we’re talking about Ms. Badu, let’s discuss her latest mixtape, But You Caint Use My Phone.
She once said she was an “analog girl in a digital world” so this ode to phones is definitely a different theme for a whole project. Even though the mixtape is 11-tracks, it’s only 36 minutes long. There’s creativity within her samples and the production is superb, unfortunately it gets redundant pretty quick. The mixtape feels like one long track.
If you’re wondering what songs to listen to, here are our favorite tracks.
4. “Phone Down”: The trap beat is everything. It sounds like 2 Chainz “I’m Different”. In the song, she’s reminding us we don’t have to put every moment on social media. “You ain’t gon text no one when you with me!” Whoa, that’s the power of the “Badu Box“!
5. “U Use To Call Me” (feat. Drake): Is her second of three covers of “Hotline Bling” with a welcomed surprise. While listening we thought, ”Is that Drake? His voice sounds funny’ by the time you confirmed with google that it’s Drizzy, his verse is over.
6. “Mr. Telephone Man”: Badu pays tribute to New Edition; we loved everything about the beat.
11.”Hello” (feat. Andre 3000) First observation, Erykah’s baby daddy is the only person who can rap off beat and it still sound good (cc: his verse on the Chris Brown “Deuces” remix) The song is just…pretty…it makes us want to sit on a porch drinking lemonade while growing old with bae. Maybe it’s the reference to the Isley Brother‘s, “Hello It’s Me”. And they change the lyrics from “dont’ change girl” to “don’t change ‘squirrel” They are hilarious, we can see how they were once the perfect couple.
Are there any songs about phones that Erykah missed? Will we replay this mixtape like we would albums earlier in her career? Probably not, but we appreciate the effort.