Now that Afeni Shakur has passed, former World Heavy Weight Boxing champion Mike Tyson is one of the closest examples Hip Hop fans have of a living, breathing anthology on the life and times of the late rap icon 2Pac.
During his new Drink Champs interview with DJ EFN and N.O.R.E. released on Saturday (June 11), Iron Mike discussed his 1992 prison stint, recalling a mind-blowing interaction with the legendary West Coast artist in which he caused an uproar as a result of his visit.
“Once he came into the visiting room — and there was all these hillbilly hicks, mean muthafuckin’ Aryan guys — as soon as he came up everybody started clapping,” Tyson said. “They respected him, soon as he came in the room, they started applauding.”
He previously told the story to DJ Whoo Kid and former NBA hoopers Matt Barnes and Stephen (Stack) Jackson during a recent episode of his Hot Boxing podcast, after the New York DJ pointed out the incredibly rare artwork Tyson has depicting 2Pac’s compelling Makaveli album cover artwork.
“The guards are saying that shit, ‘Hey stop, sit down,’ he was wooh — he was a force,” Tyson told Barnes, Jackson and Whoo Kid of the encounter. “If he loved you it was all love. But if he didn’t like you he looked for beef sometimes. He wanted you to know he was there.”
He continued “Everywhere I go, out in Africa and Europe [People ask], ‘What was 2Pac like? How was 2Pac’ everywhere all over the world.” “This is what he wanted, he wanted to be immortal.”
Mike Tyson actually described how the meeting came into fruition further into his Drink Champs interview, revealing how he had only met the “Hit ‘Em Up” lyricist six months prior to his 1992 imprisonment. He added 2Pac wasn’t the person who reached out and made the initial contact with him prior to the rapper’s visit.
The 55-year-old explained how he received a call: “It’s 2Pac’s mother,” he continued, “She explains how she knows me from her son, explains that I met him at a club [The Hollywood Palladium] one night and that he wants to come and visit me. I said great, OK.”
Throughout the course of the interview, Tyson goes on to speak at length about the visit and also named dropped several of the other A-list celebrities who visited him, including Whitney Houston and more.
“I had everybody. B.B. King, James Brown, Whitney Houston, Florence Henderson — everybody came,” he said. “I can’t even name them all. Just so many people came to visit me.”
While Tyson’s 2Pac stories are certainly intriguing for listeners infatuated with the lives of both prominent public figures, Iron Mike has been delivering high-level content all year long and has already gone viral on multiple occasions, including last month when he and The Game engaged in a fearsome arm wrestling match during their podcast episode.
Check out Mike Tyson’s full Drink Champs interview below.