From the Ring to the Mic: Relive Mike Tyson’s Legendary Hip-Hop Collaborations on His 57th Birthday


Always one to show his rap friends love, Mike Tyson has appeared in numerous music videos, some inspired by him, and others that were just dope records from dope people.

In celebration of the champ’s 57th birthday, we rounded up Iron Mike’s most memorable music video appearances that helped stamp him as a fixture within Hip-Hop.


DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince “I Think I Can Beat Mike Tyson”

During his first reign as the heavyweight champ of the world, Mike Tyson was an imposing figure unlike any other, with the thought of him being defeated seeming unfathomable.

Take it from a scrawny rapper from Philadelphia to try his hand at testing the champ’s mettle and chin in a fight, which is what The Fresh Prince did in 1989, going as far as writing a song and filming a music video about it.

Titled “I Think I Can Beat Mike Tyson,” the visual begins with The Fresh Prince growing in his belief that he can go toe-to-toe with the champ. After brokering the fight with promoter Don King — who also appears in the vid — the challenger comes face-to-face with Tyson, who taunts him at the press conference leading up to the fight. As expected, The Fresh Prince is no match, as the champ takes him out with a body shot to the ribs, a reminder to the loser and those at home to pick their battles wisely.


Ice-T “New Jack Hustler”

Long before tensions between the East and the West brewed, L.A. and Brooklyn connected when Mike Tyson popped up alongside Ice-T in the rapper’s New Jack City soundtrack cut “New Jack Hustler (Nino’s Theme)” in 1991.

As Ice gives a curious youngster a taste of the street life, Tyson holds court amongst his crew while talking on a portable phone, seemingly relaxed in the high-stakes environment. Spotted in multiple scenes — including one flexing a beeper and a cordless phone — the pugilist is seen posted up in front of high-end whips in one of his last cameos prior to serving his prison sentence the following year.



Canibus “2nd Round KO”

In 1998, Iron Mike returned to the ring in a music video. Only this time, the champ’s appearance was in support of Canibus, who was looking to settle the score with his lyrical opponent LL Cool J with his “2nd Round KO” diss record against the Queens legend.


The song and video begins with Tyson giving Canibus words of encouragement and hyping him up, as footage of the pair preparing for the fight plays throughout the visual. From assisting the rapper on the heavy-bag, to running across white sands, the Brooklyn bomber is with his trainee every step of the way in this clip, which ranks among the boxer’s most memorable cameos.


Gang Starr “Full Clip”

Mike Tyson may be one of the biggest sports stars on the planet, but continues to keep his ear to the streets. Back in 1999, the bruiser solidified his connection to the underground with an appearance in Gang Starr’s “Full Clip” music video that’s so brief, you just might miss it.

In one of the pieces of archival footage of Gang Starr that’s littered throughout the video, Tyson can be seen speaking with group member Guru, a longtime Brooklyn resident himself. The moment is a testament to Tyson’s ability to keep the common touch and congregate with those close to the concrete, in spite of his reputation and celebrity status


Eminem “Godzilla”

Mike Tyson shows off his comedic chops as he crosses paths with Eminem in this zany guest spot.

Directed by Cole Bennett, the Rap God’s visual for his “Godzilla” single featured the sports figure hitting it off with the Detroit native, literally, as he knocks the rapper unconscious with an unsuspecting blow.

While this may have been par for the course during his career, Tyson has mellowed out in retirement and shown himself to be a pretty thoughtful guy, as is reflected by his pleas for forgiveness for the incidental KO. When Em comes to, Tyson is there with a band-aid and helping hand, proving he’s truly a reformed individual.


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