Lyrically Speaking: Erykah Badu – Tyrone

In Lyrically Speaking, Relationships on 4 November 2010 at 11:13 am

First Edition

I think every woman over the age of 25 remembers where they were the moment that they first heard this song. It was probably with a group of your closest girlfriends, in your house hugging a tub of Ben & Jerry’s bawling over his dumbass, kneeling down in a parking lot slicing tires, or face to face with the ‘ova bitch! Either way….everyone can relate to this song; Erykah Badu’s Tyrone.

I must admit that as an impressionable 17 year-old when it was first released, this song is the sole reason why I have never, and will never, be in  a cohabitation situation with my significant other before marriage. I mean, what if my man turns out to be Tyrone’s homeboy and his name is on the lease? Too much drama for a teen to comprehend, right? I mean, Erykah has this way of telling a story that makes you visualize the story, so I visualized every verse and made up in my mind, in advance, how the hell I would ever handle a situation should I ever have to.

SO, listening to the live version, she calmly asks the sisters if they are alright, followed by the brothers….without any warning of the first verse. The women IMMEDIATELY begin to cheer, but there was not a brotherly tone in the mix agreeing to shit. I think they took it personally. lol

First verse:


I’m gettin tired of your shit
You don’t never buy me nothin’
See every time you come around
You got to bring Jim, James, Paul and Tyrone

See why can’t we be by ourselves sometimes
See I’ve been having this on my mind for a long time
I just want it to be you and me like it used to be, baby
But you don’t know how to act, so matter fact


WOW! Bold, right off the front, “I’m getting tired of your shit”. Cant you just picture her sitting on the edge of her couch in the dark, Angela Basset after torching all his shit, Waiting to Exhale Style,and just blurting that out as soon as he walks into the front door? lol. How empowering! I mean, when I broke-up with my high school sweetheart 3 years later….that’s EXACTLY how it went down. He walked past me a few times and I just blurted it out. I wish I had used “I’m Getting tired of your shit” , it sounds more direct and poignant…lol.

And what was up with his friends’ names? Was he a rejected, ghetto disciple?  Missing member of the Black Beatles cover band? And here she was just wanting to spend time with her man, but NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO it was all about his boys. I say, if you like your boys so much…have sex with them and leave me alone. lol.


I think you better call Tyrone
(Call him)
And tell him come on, help you get your shit
(Come on, come on, come on)
You need to call Tyrone
(Call him)
And tell him I said come on


Now the chorus comes in right as she flicks on the corner light switch that casts a shadow on her profile. And in chimes her bitter ass friends that you didn’t even see sitting at the kitchen table to the left, high-fiving & playing Pinochle, “Call Him!” .  Just in case you didn’t hear what she meant she articulates the “T” perfectly clear on the end of shit. I think this is the most clarified execution of the English language in an urban song in the years prior to Cee-lo Green’s Fuck You. It is a mantra that is tugging at the strings of every man’s pride, and the back-up singers are like kryptonite. Almost like a fly that keeps buzzing in your ear, and you didn’t even request their input…but here they go, “Come on, Come on, Come on!” Almost like a ” Nigga, I wish you would” threat from the days of old when Big Mama heard you whisper under your breath.


Second Verse:

Now every time I ask you for a little cash
You say nawl but turn right around and ask me for some ass
Oh well hold up listen partna I ain’t no cheap thrill
‘Cuz Miss Badu’s always comin for real, you know the deal nigga

Every time we go somewhere
I gotta reach down in my purse
To pay your way and your homeboy’s way
And sometimes your cousin’s way

They don’t never have to pay
Don’t have no cars, hang around in bars
Try to hang around with stars
Like Badu I’m gonna tell you the truth
Show improve or get the boot


This verse was the one that made me NEVER ask any of my dudes for cash. I doubt I will ever ask my husband for money. I come with my own. I’ll never have to place my needs in a battle over a booty bargaining chip. Not gonna happen here! And even though the first and second stanza clashes with who really brings in the finances of the house, I WISH A NEGRO WOULD make me pay for his way and that of his boys. That would be the deal breaker right there. I’m not saying that I will never pay for my man…occasionally ( unless the circumstances are out of the ordinary) but I’ll never pay for his boys and my MAN wouldn’t let me. Just saying.  I will also turn my other cheek to the double negative in the  “I aint no”, “Dont have no cars”  & “They don’t never” lines. The  line, “”You dont never buy me nothing” was a triple negative and I am unable to comprehend that. This song is too amazing for me to attack her grammatical structure, too hard. But it will have to be a -6 points against R&B.

And after another round of the chorus, the crowd ( women only) are chanting the lyrics and loving every moment of it. And then she hits the end of the song with the BEST ending to a song that has yet to be outdone. As her friends get up from the table to block the dude from stepping further into the house, Erykah leans back calmly on the couch and clicks off the lamp and pimpously says

But you can’t use my phone

HOW PIMP IS THAT!!!!! A Pimp Named Slickback & Powder need to learn a thing or two from Pimp Bad-du….cause that was vicious! I give this a stamp of approval for having constant play in my MP3 & CD player!

Grammatical Error Count (Specifically Double Negatives)

R&B: -6     Rap:0



~*My Mother’s Daughter*~

  1. Lol! I need a Luv it button for this! 😀

    • Awww thanks! I just started writing after the idea hit my head. Man, y’all love it so much I am afraid that I wont be able to top it. But I thank you for reading! God bless!

  2. LMBOOOOOOOO!!!!!! @Triple Negative!!!
    I love, love, love it!!!

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by 2Deep the Poetess, 2Deep the Poetess. 2Deep the Poetess said: INTRODUCING MY NEW BLOG SERIES: PLZ CHECK IT OUT & RT! Lyrically Speaking: Erykah Badu – Tyrone: http://t.co/tXXl87H […]

  4. I love it!! more please ! give me more!! tee hee!!

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