In early October 2015, Erykah Badu released a remix to Drake's single "Hotline Bling
," which she originally recorded for her tour manager, Big Mike's, birthday. Inspired, she recorded a whole mixtape based around the song's telephone concept titled But You Caint Use My Phone
(a play on her 1997 hit "Tyrone
"). This is the original remix she recorded, now with the new title, "Cell U Lar Device."
Badu recalled the story of the mixtape to Abu Dhabi Media's The National
: "I first did a remake of Drake's Hotline Bling, because I thought it was an awesome song. I actually did it for Big Mike's birthday. Big Mike's my tour manager. That's his favourite song, as well as a lot of other people's, too. And it came out good. And I just stayed in that studio, in the bedroom, and I just kept writing songs, making songs. And about ten days later, I had this mixtape."