DFW Music News

Erykah Badu Gets A Paul McCartney Sample Cleared--Via Twitter. (Kinda.)

Last night saw some serious action on Erykah Badu's always-active Twitter account--only, this time, Badu seemed to be making Twitter work for her.

And how: Through a head-spinning array of tweets that started shortly before 9 p.m. last night and ended shortly after 1 p.m. this afternoon, Badu desperately tweeted at a cast of celebrities including Lenny Kravitz, D.A. Wallach of Chester French, and Stella McCartney--all in an attempt, she wrote, to try and clear a Paul McCartney sample she hoped to include on her upcoming album, New Amerykah, Pt. II: Return of the Ankh.

And after, 19 tweets sent out over that time span, it seems she got the job done: "I want 2 officially thank my Twitter fam 4 helping me 2 clear my Paul McCartney sample!," she tweeted this afternoon. "We kik ass! 'Put it n the universe' has new meaning."

Except, to hear Paul Levatino, a longtime member of the Badu World team, tell it, things may have been exaggerated just a bit over Twitter.

As in: Badu's been working on clearing the sample--a snippet of Wings' "Arrow Through Me" used on her upcoming album's song "Don't Be Long" "Gone Baby, Don't Be Long"--for the past month or so.

So it was hardly the last-minute thing the process was portrayed as being.

"We spent a month pitching his people," Levatino says. "But her Twitter family probably helped massage him at the last second."

Which mean, yes, Levatino confirms, Badu's use of the sample has been cleared.

And good thing, too: New Amerykah Pt. II, which is set for a March 30 release, faces a whole slew of deadlines this week. Levatino says the artwork for the album is due to the label, Universal Motown, this afternoon. And the songs themselves are due next Tuesday--making the clearance of the sample especially timely.

Of course, this is just the latest bit of good news Badu's received of late. Levatino says New Amerykah Pt. II's lead single, "Window Seat," has been the top song added to Urban Adult Contemporary-formatted radio stations over each of the past two weeks.

And, next Wednesday night, Badu has been booked to play Late Night with Jimmy Fallon alongside her longtime friends and collaborators in Late Night's house band, The Roots. There, she'll perform "Window Seat," backed by her own band, as well as the Roots' keyboardist James Poyser (who produced the track) and drummer ?uestlove, who helped Badu write the song.

Oh, and just for kicks, here's some fun trivia, again courtesy of Levatino: The song--along with most of the upcoming album, Levatino says--was recorded in Dallas; in this case, it was tracked at Luminous Sound.

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Pete Freedman
Contact: Pete Freedman