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When Erykah Took ‘Tyrone’ To The Studio


I don't know what I was doing at the time, but I somehow managed to miss Erykah Badu on tour when she hit the circuit after Baduizm dropped. Despite my personal FAIL, I got to experience the next best thing with the release of 1997's Live. You could smell the incense burning and picture the Afrocentric head-wrapped Neo-Soul diva on the mic singing to crowds of thousands whenever you put the record on. The biggest hit from Live was without a doubt the song "Tyrone," in which Badu kicked her man to the curb and up outta her crib then advised him to call his cherished boy, Tyrone. When she began the song with "Keep in mind that I'm an artist, and I'm sensitive about my shit," she really had nothing to worry about. "Tyrone" became an anthem for women everywhere whose men had a few too many
male friends who they spent a little too much time with.

In short, the song kicked ass.

And in case you didn't get enough with the live version, at the close of the album was the studio version
of the track, which I all but forgot about until recently--not because I didn't like it, but I just didn't love it like the live joint.

It's always
interesting to me when an artist records a song live, then later goes
back to record the same song in the studio. I don't know what it is, but
I typically gravitate more to the live recording. Maybe it's because I heard it first and that's the version that I'm used to, so when another rendition by the same artist comes out I compare it to the version that I know. (See also, Maxwell's "This Woman's Work" from MTV Unplugged then later Now.)

In the case of 'Tyrone" Live versus "Tyrone" Studio, the rawness and realness of the live performance gets my vote, but the studio version does have its appeal with the extra lyrics and polish. Either way, the song is still the hotness 13 years later, and I still feel for any brotha named Tyrone when it plays.

Erykah Badu: "Tyrone" (Live)

Erykah Badu: "Tyrone" (Main)


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2 Responses

  1. The live version really sells the song. You get that instant feedback from the audience. Plus it was intimate, like having a conversation with one of your girlfriends. "Say what? Oh no he didn't! Chile please! Go head now!

  2. Oh, it would be remiss of me if I didn't mention the video for the song of the live concert. That little wink singer Karen Bernod give the camera as if to say, "Say that sh*t, Erykah!



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