In his three years of imprisonment, Mike Tyson was visited by some A-list stars from the entertainment industry. The former professional boxer showed his strength in the ring from 1985 to 2005. He is regarded as one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time. The star was sentenced to six years of imprisonment after a rape accusation in 1992. He got bail on parole after three years.
During his time in jail, some of the biggest celebrities paid him a visit. “I had everybody. B.B. King, James Brown, Whitney Houston … Florence Henderson. Everybody came,” he said in a recent interview Drink Champs. “I can’t even name them all. Just so many people came to visit me.” Tyson also talked about late rapper Tupac Shakur seeing him in prison.
Tupac’s Visit Was Very Special For Mike Tyson
There is no doubt that among the celebrities gathered at the prison facility to visit Tyson, the late Tupac Shakur was very special to the boxer. Mike recalled how the other inmates went really crazy as the rapper entered the jail. “I get a call from somebody; it’s 2Pac’s mother,” he said. “Once he came into the visiting room—and there were all these hillbilly hicks, mean m*********in’ aryan guys—as soon as he came up everybody started clapping. They respected him, soon as he came into the room, they started applauding.”
Tyson further shared his experience of how he met Tupac six months earlier at an after-party at the Hollywood Palladium. He saw a “kid” outside and asked him to come in, but “He went and came back with, like, 50 people,” Tyson recalled. “2Pac was one of those guys. So we went and let them through the back, and somehow they got on the stage, took the mic, started rapping, and I met 2Pac.”
Tyson was later asked to share his thoughts on the East Coast-West Coast hip-hop rivalry, specifically the highly publicized feud between Brooklyn native Biggie and 2Pac. “I thought it was ridiculous. And that’s what it was. It was two people in their feelings too much. I knew it was gonna end really bad. I knew it wasn’t gonna end nice, and it didn’t,” he said.
How Hip-Hop Impacted Tyson’s Life
Tyson, who also knew Biggie, said he never got caught up in the beef because he treats “people the way I wanted to be treated. It has nothing to do with fear.” The boxing champion also opened up about how hip-hop impacted his life. He recalled growing up listening to it and expressed his heartfelt pride to be a fan of hip-hop culture. “That’s our music …” he said. “Hip-hop created a new species of person.”
“And that person was embodied in Mike Tyson?” DJ EFN interjected. “In him, and you—don’t put it all on me,” Tyson said, before pointing to individual audience members. “And that’s what it is. It created a new species of human being.” “I just know that I have some bad qualities that people can point to, too …” Tyson said.