Erykah Badu in Clutch magazine: "It was a song I literally made up on stage in London in 1997. It was a spontaneous thing. Later, I looked around and saw they were having debates about it on TV and radio. They said I was male bashing. I had no idea that it would have such an impact. I was just making it up as I was going along. As the song blew up, I realized that I had to take some kind of stance. I began to challenge all the 'Tyrones' to do better. The song 'Tyrone' did its job musically and socially. Women loved it because that's how they felt and men hated it because that's how they were. As a result, it became an anthem. I'm not apologetic for 'Tyrone.' It's the jam and I love it. It's one of my favorite songs to perform on stage and it's still hilarious to me."
Fans assumed the song was about Badu's former lover André 3000, but the Outkast rapper squashed the rumor with his "A Life in a Day of Benjamin Andre" track.
Speaking with The Breakfast Club on November 24, 2015 Badu reminisced about how the song came about.
"In rehearsal a lot of times we'd just play around and do stuff like 'call me!' but I didn't know it was going to turn into 'Tyrone.' So the background vocalists were prepared because they kind of know the joke. But it just kind of turned into a song that was totally freestyled."