Tupac loved Mike Tyson, and Mike loved Tupac. Their friendship dates back to 1991. Interestingly, Tyson didn’t even know who Tupac was during their first encounter at a Brooklyn club. Recently speaking with DJ Whoo Kid on Shade 45, the famed boxer turned actor recalled meeting the hip hop legend, as well as the time Tupac visited him in jail back in 1992.
” ‘Pac was just a ball of energy,” Tyson says
Watch Tyson tell the story himself below, which begins at about the 13-minute mark.
“Me and one of the guys [running the event were] talking to us [outside],” he recalled when asked about his relationship with Tupac. “There was this little guy [trying to get in the club]… I was like, ‘What’s up, shorty? Hey yo, let him in.’ He said, ‘Mike that’s cool, don’t worry about it.’ But then he came back with 50 people. He went around the back. I’m still talking to the guy. I go in the club, this is 30-45 minutes later, Tupac is on the mic rocking. The club is off the hook and then [the guy trying to get in earlier] said come over here, ‘cause I didn’t see the guy. I just saw when he had the crew. He said, ‘Thanks for letting us in.’”
“He was incredible. You knew he was a special person when he’s in your presence,” Tyson says.
Mike talks about the same story in MTV
TYSON: “Magic Johnson had a party at the Palladium in Los Angeles,” Iron Mike said, jogging his memory. “What year was this? No, I wasn’t champion, it was ’91. I just fought [Donovan ‘Razor’] Ruddock … I believe I came outside. I was talking to the people running the door. They were friends of mine. They wouldn’t let these guys in, Tupac and them. I said, ‘Man, let these guys in. You remember how it was with us.’
“So they let him in. ‘Pac had said, ‘Hold up for one minute,’ and he brought back 200 more people. He had a gang of people with him. They said, ‘Listen, you can’t go through the front, you have to go through the back.’ Next thing I knew, it was over. I hear somebody on the mic — he took the mic. Him and his guys got the mic somehow and started rapping. The whole crowd started going crazy. They loved him. The guys from Digital Underground introduced him to me. They said, ‘This is Tupac.’ I met him, he was very young. He was very happy, vivacious. He just had energy. He was wild, an amazing individual.” / MTV
The little guy he was referring to was Tupac and it apparently had an effect on him. Mike then explained their next meeting, which was when ‘Pac wanted to visit him in prison in 1992.
Tyson: “The next time I saw [Tupac] I didn’t even know who he was,” Tyson said. “I knew he was ‘2Pac.’ But his mother had wrote me a letter in prison … I remembered that night. He came to prison to see me. We spoke. He was so much more confident than when I had met him the other time, probably a year or two prior to that. He had gone from being shy guy to very strong-willed and confident and independent. He was tremendously feeling himself. He had so much confidence. He was bursting off the air.
“He came to the prison. He was standing on the table, started talking. All the people in the prison started going crazy. I said, ‘Sit. Sit down. Sit, brother, sit,’ ” Tyson recalled. “The white prisoners, the guards, everybody went crazy in this redneck prison. They went nuts when he came in there. I didn’t know he was [famous] like that. I didn’t know he was like that! I thought he was some young brother. But when he came in, I didn’t know people was feeling him like that too. I was like, ‘Yo man. Chill, brother.’ He was wilding, sweating, talking, being very gregarious. He was prolific. He was talking, having a ball. … He was very territorial. He was an interesting guy. He was different than any other rapper I had ever met from a philosophical perspective.” / MTV
Tyson said all of the prisoners were trying to talk to ‘Pac and snap pictures with him. But the champ was concerned that all the hoopla might get him thrown out of the facility, which had happened before when other celebs had visited the boxing legend.
Tyson: “I didn’t know Tupac was that big then, because I was inside,” Tyson explained. “That’s when they had that [East Coast vs. West Coast] beef stuff [with Bad Boy]. I didn’t know Tupac was who he was. I had no idea.” / MTV
”TUPAC SHAKUR WAS ‘FEARLESS,” TYSON SAYS
XXL Magazine Interview
You and Tupac Shakur were close when he was alive. Anything in particular that sticks out in your mind when you think about ’Pac?
When I came back in 1995 and I was fighting Bruce Seldon, he came to the fight. Man, he was very excited because we had both been incarcerated and we both came out and we were very successful, like we both thought we would be.
A lot of today’s Tupac fans are too young to know too much about him, but he seemed like a brilliant man. How was he as a person?
Hey, maybe that was his problem. He knew too much and learned too much in a short period of time. That could have been an overload. He was so attentive and so thuggish and street and then he’s so elegant. He was one of those enigma guys that you could never figure out. Maybe he couldn’t figure himself out. It’s such a rare thing to be different. [Tupac] was a beautiful guy, generous; that’s one of his greatest attributes that’s overlooked and underrated, [his] generosity.
How did y’all first meet anyway? Did you know who he was?
We were in Los Angeles, near a film set at the Hollywood Palladium on Sunset. Somebody was having a party there and they wouldn’t let him in the door. There was this little guy there. The guys at the door were very good friends of mine. You know how it goes when you’re really young. The dude [comes to the door] with like 200 guys so the security guard said, “Y’all got to go around the back. Y’all can’t come through the front.” Next thing I know, I’m hanging out in the party and Tupac was rockin’ the mic. He was rockin’ the mic and everybody is making a big thing about him and I’m like, “Who’s that? Who’s that guy?” Then somebody said, “This is Tupac. He’s going to be a star one day.” The whole room was going crazy because of his performance. He wasn’t even scheduled to perform. He just grabbed the mic and started rockin’.
This is what I will never forget; I will never forget his smile, such an illuminating, gravitational smile. His smile lit up the club. Wow, he was something, man. The energy was just special.
It’s almost the 20th anniversary of his death. What do you think he’d be now if he was still alive?
Entrepreneur. He would be a businessman and would’ve done collaborations with a lot of artists. I think him and Diddy would’ve buried the hatchet and understood business is business.
Tupac’s mom, Afeni Shakur, recently passed. When was the last time you saw each other?
About five years ago, last time we talked. That was a strong Black woman that achieved and been through shit and back and really experienced shit.
“Our problem was we always had to worry about someone betraying us, our closest friends,” Tyson said.
By the time Tyson was released in March 25, 1995, Tupac would be jailed for sex abuse; he was released on bond later that year. When he got out of prison, Tyson and Tupac’s friendship deepened. Both found it difficult to find people who truly cared for them, Tyson said.
TYSON: “His energy’s off the wall,” he said. “Guys don’t do that no more. When I see entertainers, it’s just not that energy…Some guys sell hundreds of millions of records, but they don’t got that stuff. He had that stuff.” / MTV
Friendship was so important to Shakur that he criticized Tyson when he selected a song from rapper Redman as his intro music at a fight.
“He said, ‘Don’t you ever play those (expletive) songs again, they don’t give a (expletive) about you,'” Tyson recalled. “When he said that, it pierced my soul. … I felt like I did something wrong.”
After that talk, Tyson decided Pac’s raps would be his intro music for life.
”Ambitionz as a Fighta” & Mike Tyson Vs. Buster Mathis (December 16, 1995)
On December 13, 1995, Tupac recorded ”Ambitionz as a Fighta”, three days before Mike Tyson Vs. Buster Mathis boxing match.
Tyson enters the ring using ”Ambitionz as a Fighta”.
”ROAD 2 GLORY” Song and Tyson Vs. Bruno Match
On March 14, 1996 Tupac recorded ”Road 2 Glory”.
This song was never officially released, but Tyson entered the ring to it
On March 16, 1996, Tupac attends the Mike Tyson vs Frank Bruno press conference and fight in Las Vegas, Nevada. After the fight Tupac and Suge Knight congratulate Tyson on his victory.
Mike Tyson regained one belt by easily winning the WBC title from Frank Bruno in March 16, 1996. It was the second fight between the two, and Tyson knocked Bruno out in the third round.
”Let’s Get It On” song and Tyson Vs. Seldon Match
On September 06, 1996, Tupac made his last recording in the studio. He recorded “Let’s Get It On” for Mike Tyson Vs. Bruce Seldon Fight, produced by Scott Gutierrez
In this day he recorded three songs: “Let’s Get It On”, ”Hell 4 A Hustler” with Outlaw Immortalz and ”All Out” with E.D.I. Mean, Napoleon & Kastro.
Tyson enters on the ring using “Let’s Get It On”
Check full information for Tyson Vs. Seldon match & Tupac’s Last Night
On November 09, 1996 (One month after Tupac’s death) Mike Tyson Enters The Ring With Toss It Up by Tupac against Evander Holyfield.
TYSON: “He’s going to last until the time this Earth comes to an end,” he said. “I’m glad to be a part of his life and to have known him. Of all the things Mike Tyson can regret in his life – you know that whole rape thing, the jail thing, the biting the ear thing – his biggest regret is not smoking with ‘Pac. Crazy!”