Who Cloned Tyrone movie song explained: story & lyrics

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They Cloned Tyrone is definitely one of the craziest movies released in 2023. Starring John Boyega, Teyonah Parris, and Jamie Foxx, the Netflix movie is a weird sci-fi thriller involving a big-scale conspiracy while paying homage to the classic 70s Blaxploitation films. And besides the many questions around the plot, one aspect needs to be explained: who is Tyrone, why is he mentioned in the title, and what is the song Who Cloned Tyrone in the ending credits? In this article, we will tell you the story of this classic neo-soul song and the meaning of the lyrics.

You can watch the official trailer for They Cloned Tyrone here on Youtube.

Who Cloned Tyrone, the movie song explained: the story, lyrics & meaning

The song featured in the ending credits of the 2023 Netflix movie They Cloned Tyrone is a “clone” of a classic neo-soul song written by Erykah Badu in 1997, Tyrone. The movie’s director, Juel Taylor, directly contacted the American singer, asking her to rewrite the song’s lyrics and re-record the song in a newer version dedicated to the movie. This way, the new version got the title “Who Cloned Tyrone.” You can listen to the original song, Tyrone, below, but be advised: the lyrics are different than the ones you hear in the movie, and you’ll understand why in a moment.

Erykah Badu - Tyrone (Live)

First of all, who is Tyrone? Why does it appear in the movie title, although no main character is named that way? Tyrone is just a stereotypical name referring to an average black male individual, the most common name a black woman could give to her son. Erykah Badu used the name as a symbol, referring to an unknown black man, the typical guy you call when you need help. And the stereotype is the exact reason why the Netflix movie is titled “They Cloned Tyrone”: by using that name, the title implies that someone is cloning the black population in the neighborhood. The movie’s protagonists are not named that way, but the film ends with a random black guy named Tyrone recognizing himself on the TV news: yes, they cloned him and half of the other black people in the city.

Originally, Erykah Badu’s song Tyrone was born as a personal interpretation of an inside joke the singer had with her sister. As she explained in this interview with Tamron Hall, they were imitating their aunts gossiping and discussing what the other black men could do better. “Ya better call Tyrone” is the advice the song gives to an unknown man who apparently is good at nothing: if you need to sort things out, you better ask help to someone who knows what he’s doing.

However, that has nothing to do with the movie plot, and that’s why the director asked Erykah Badu to rewrite the song, slightly altering the lyrics to better match the movie’s themes. This way, the song became Who Cloned Tyrone a song about the conspiracy and the need for freedom.

Below, you can find the lyrics of the new version of the song Who Cloned TyroneIn bold you can distinguish the lines that have been changed from the original track, matching the movie’s plot:

I’m gettin’ tired of your s–t
You don’t never buy me nothin’ 
And every time you come around
You got to clone Jim, James, Paul, and Tyrone
See why can’t we be ourselves sometimes?
See you been tampering with my mind for a long time
I just want it to be and free
Like it used to be, baby
But you don’t know how to act
So matter fact

Them mother—s cloned Tyrone
(Cloned him!
So tell him come on help you him get your s–t 
(Come on, Come on, Come on) 
Somebody cloned Tyrone
(Cloned him
Tell him I said come on

Now every time we try to make a little cash
They saw no, to turn right around and flash it for some a–s 
Say hold up, listen partner I ain’t no cheap thrill
Cause Miss Badu’s always comin’ for real
You now the deal, n–a
Everytime we go somewhere, they search down in my purse
And scan your waves and your homeboy’s waves
And sometimes your cousin’s waves 

They don’t never have to pay
We buy the cars
Hang around in bars
Tryna hang around with stars
Like Badu I’ma tell you the truth 
Got the proof, it’s on the news

Them mother—s cloned Tyrone
(Cloned him!
So tell him come on help you him get your s–t 
(Come on, Come on, Come on) 
Somebody cloned Tyrone
(Cloned him
Tell him I said come on

If you want to read the lyrics of the original song, you can find them here. One of the best changes is in the chorus, where the original “you better call Tyrone – call him!” becomes “The mother—s cloned Tyrone – cloned him!” turning a simple advice from a woman to a man into a public accusation about the extended conspiracy explained in the movie.

With its new lyrics, Who Cloned Tyrone becomes the signature song of a very peculiar movie: a black music masterpiece improved and donated to a little movie gem.

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