But You Caint Use My Phone is a mixtape by American recording artist Erykah Badu, first released on November 17, 2015, on Motown and Control Freaq. Following the release of New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh) (2010), Badu embarked on a five-year hiatus, during which she traveled to Africa in an attempt to record new music, however this never surfaced. After receiving a remix of “On and On” from producer Zach Witness, Badu contacted him in order to record with him, shortly after the pair met again and went to Witness’s home in Dallas, Texas and worked in his bedroom studio, where they recorded the album in 11 days.
Upon release, But You Caint Use My Phone received critical acclaim from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 to reviews from music critics, the album received an average score of 80, which indicates “generally favorable reviews”, based on eight reviews. Pitchfork media commended the albums production saying “Created alongside a young producer and fellow Dallas denizen named Zach Witness in just 11 days, the tape feels off-the-cuff, yet also steeped in history and wisdom.” Spin Magazine gave the mixtape a positive review stating “What’s most charming about But You Caint Use My Phone is how unpretentiously Badu comports herself, ever-mindful that one of her most special qualities as a vocalist remains her ability to entwine the resilient with the goofy.” Kyle Mullin of Exclaim! wrote “don’t think of it as a mixtape, but rather an extensive and heartfelt voicemail to fans who have been longing for the queen of neo-soul to give them a ring.”Now Magazine praised the mixtape’s “experimental and improvisational but familiar” production, continuing to state “When she puts her psychedelic soul spin on the trappy drums of today (what she calls trap&B), it’s the sound of an artist embracing change and all the new possibilities and complications that go with it.”