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Close Aid of Drug Lord Pablo Escobar’s Son Tells Mike Tyson He Had to Work for “Mafia” to Earn Respect in the Industry

Published 06/04/2023, 7:43 PM EDT

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In the tumultuous world of the music industry, striking a chord with the “Mafia”  to earn respect isn’t the most conventional route to stardom. Yet, J Balvin, a close friend of drug lord Pablo Escobar’s son, unveils a fascinating narrative of his ascent on the ‘Hotboxin’ podcast with legendary boxer Mike Tyson.

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Navigating an industry he describes as a “clique,” Balvin shares a candid confession that is as odd as it is compelling. Balvin’s revelations about the unforgiving industry he grappled with are interspersed with unexpected lighter moments, including a humorous critique of Tyson’s musical skills.

Against the current: Balvin’s unorthodox journey to stardom


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In a riveting exchange on ‘Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson, Latin pop sensation J Balvin opened up about the inner workings of the music industry.

It all started with J Balvin’s somewhat cryptic remark: “It was really tough you know to get the respect in the game, because you know they’re a clique, they’re a mafia. You know and they’re like okay who’s this guy?” In the face of the established industry giants, Balvin found himself scrutinized and questioned, disrupting their established sound and style.


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DJ Whoo Kid, also on the show, echoed Balvin’s sentiments with a surprised, “Oh because they’re oh sh*t, so they control like that that’s that one sound. Like you coming in and change their one sound oh my god.”

Resilience became Balvin’s strongest ally in his quest for respect. He passionately recalled, “They’re like okay… I’m gonna take these punches until I just knock this s*it out. You have to fight your way through. Yeah and I did it.”

His approach was one of authenticity and self-reliance. Balvin stressed the importance of being oneself and earning respect independently: “No one else is going to do it for you, nobody is gonna be like ‘oh you have to respect this guy.’ No, you have to be your own self and be like this is who I am you know and that’s what happens that’s how we earn the respect in this game.”


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As the conversation unfolded, Balvin’s reflections shifted to a lighter note, “Well listen now that I’ve been learning a lot about life is such a crazy industry man, it’s a fun industry man, it’s really fun.”

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Later in the podcast, Balvin shed light on his personal connections. He revealed, “Like I’m really close to Pablo Escobar’s son, you know, like really, really close, we’re really friends.”


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This revelation offers a glimpse into Balvin’s world beyond music, exposing his ties with the offspring of the infamous drug lord, and painting a complex picture of his journey.



Mrinal Mishra

837 articles

Mrinal Mishra is a Boxing writer at EssentiallySports, who is dedicated to covering live events with a special emphasis on influencer boxing events. With a focus on storytelling, Mishra strives to bring to light the stories of fighters that often go untold. As a big fan of Mike Tyson, Mishra believes that boxing will remain relevant for eternity, and he is committed to covering the sport with the respect and admiration it deserves.

Edited By: Arijit Saha