Erykah Badu Discusses The Power Our Phones Have Over Us (Video)

Last month, Erykah Badu released her new mixtape, But You Caint Use My Phone. The mixtape’s title drew on the last line of her beloved sendoff anthem, “Tyrone,” and telephones are a running theme throughout the project, from its song titles to the lyrics to many of the sounds heard on the tracks. Badu recently sat down with OkayPlayer as part of their The Questions series and spoke at length about her project, phones and much more.

Erykah starts by talking about how the mixtape originated, saying that when she covered Drake’s “Hotline Bling,” she made a joking reference to what was then a fictitious project. However, fans took her seriously, and the response was so overwhelming that she decided to actually do it. She also discusses the mixtape’s cover art, including the phone number that is buried within the artwork. As many have discovered, the number is real and actually belongs to a burner phone that Badu purchased. Since the tape’s release, she has been answering the phone often and interacting with fans. In fact, one of the most fascinating parts of the interview is watching her have conversations with total strangers and seeing the warmth and familiarity she exudes.

Toward the end of the piece, Erykah talks about the impact phones have had on all of our lives, saying that she checks hers from the moment she awakes in the morning and is heavily engaged with it throughout the day. Badu admits that it’s difficult to put the phone down and says “the less you invest in these machines, the better chance you have of escaping addiction.”

Check out the interview, in full, below.

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