Erykah Badu’s “Who is Squirrel?” Album Review
On Thanksgiving weekend, Erykah Badu dropped her new album, “Who is Squirrel?” Its surprisingly hip hop-influenced sound borrows from many genres. Taking inspiration from Drake’s “Hotline Bling,” Badu creates a phone-themed mixtape with a collection of covers, samples, remakes, and original tracks. Listening to the mixtape will have you asking, “Who is this woman?”
Dial’Afreaq by ItsRoutine
Erykah Badu is the voice behind the “Dial’Afreaq” mixtape. The album features eleven tracks, including the lead single “Phone Down” featuring her former beau Andre 3000–and a remix of “Hello.” The intro to the mixtape warns listeners of the dangers of cell phone radiation, and the artwork features a message to “Save the Bees.”
Though sexy, Badu continues to develop as an enigmatic character. Her character has evolved from robotic android to lover longing for intimacy. She is now the most recognizable artist in the Dial’Afreaq collection. The album’s production is top-notch. ItsRoutine’s production is equally impressive. The album’s lyrical content is on point. The production is smart and smooth, and her rapping is a blend of clever freestyle and calculated lyrics.
This mixtape is full of pop culture references, and is a must-have for anyone who appreciates modern hip hop. Erykah Badu’s song “Save the Bees” also appears on the mixtape cover. The song is clearly a pro-environmental message, but Badu describes herself as an “analog girl in a digital world” in the lyric video. “Dial’Afreaq” is an homage to a song by Uncle Jamm’s Army. ItsRoutine is a rapper who sounds very much like Drake.
Jessica Watson is a PHD holder from the University of Washington. She studied behavior and interaction between squirrels and has presented her research in several wildlife conferences including TWS Annual Conference in Winnipeg.