Last night around ten Erykah Badu took to her Twitter looking for Lenny Kravitz. After a couple of posts she let on that she was trying to clear a sample with Paul McCartney and thought Kravitz might have a direct hookup. She also said that she needed to secure the clearance within nine hours or so—which, as ?uestlove pointed out (of course he’d jumped into the mix), could be a problem, since everyone he knew in England with a line to McCartney was dead asleep at the time.

The wild last-minute nature of Badu’s hunt and the openness of her Web 2.0 method—which allowed bystanders a peek not only into the working process of a killer artist but also at a kind of weird celebrity network—made for some quality entertainment. It also harnessed the problem-solving power of the Twitter hive mind, and somewhat amazingly she announced this morning that she’d managed to get McCartney to sign off on the sample.

But what she was sampling, and what for? It wouldn’t be surprising if this was about a late tweak to her upcoming New Amerykah Pt. 2 (Return of the Ankh), but then again her great new single, “Jump Up in the Air (Stay There)”—which I review in this week’s Reader—was made just for her Web site, so who knows?

As for what song she sampled, I have no idea (Update: looks like it’s “Arrow Through Me” by Wings), but as a massive Badu fan who spent several months of last year deep in McCartney research I’ve been brainstorming a list of fantasy scenarios. My top pick after the jump: