“I think it was a culmination between Kedar and myself on the idea of a live album. But really it was at the request of the fans. Because that’s what I am…I’m a live performer. I enjoy being a recording artist, but I shine on the stage. I get my point across onstage. It becomes therapy for me. That’s what I do eight months out of the year whether I sell one record or one million. “Tyrone” came about very impromptu. Actually, it was a joke. I was mocking my aunties and the people around me in the spirit of shit-talking. I didn’t know people took it that seriously until Tavis Smiley had a show with a panel of experts talking about ‘Call Tyrone’ and analyzing it.
On the panel was George Washington Carver, Martin Luther King [laughs]…I’m talking about every black leader imaginable talking about, ‘Is ‘Tyrone’ male bashing or is it feminism?’ You have to understand that everyone has their time. In February 1997 Baduizm came out. And in November of 1997 the live album and “Tyrone” came out. It was my year to be placed amongst the stars. And I had not had another year like that. I won many awards and as a result of the things I did that year, the following years I continued to be rewarded by the fans. But “Tyrone” took on a life of its own. And to this day people still holler it out in the middle of everything I do onstage. It’s my ‘Purple Rain’ [laughs]. I made a joke to my mother once when she asked ‘When are you going to quit touring so much…you’ve been touring for 13 years; you’re never home…’ And I told her, ‘Well, wherever they want to hear ‘Call Tyrone’ that’s where I’m going to be.’ I love it and hate it [laughs].”