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Mike Tyson Claims the Crown of “The First Hip-Hop Champion”

Published 01/20/2023, 2:30 PM EST

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Boxing fans would never argue about the fact that Mike Tyson was among the most brutal fighters in boxing and known for his flashy style and aggression, both in the ring and outside of it. However, he was also very fond of hip-hop music. Recently on his podcast show, ‘Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson with stand-up comedian Bill Bellamy, he bragged about being the ‘first hip-hop champion.’

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Nevertheless, Tyson has very close relations with the celebrities from the hip-hop industry, including Dr. Dre, and Eminem.

Although it might sound weird, his larger-than-life persona and his swaggering attitude were a perfect fit for the hip-hop culture of the 90s.  But how did he become the first hip-hop champion? First, let’s dive deep into why hip-hop gained so much popularity around the world.


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Bill Bellamy shares history of hip-hop music during Tyson era

On the podcast, Bellamy shared how hip-hop music got so popular in the late ’90s. On the podcast, the interviewer asked Belamy, ” You feel that hip-hop was like everybody just wanted to be the fan of being a star and then the money came out like the money came out in the late ’90s when biggie and you see that bad boy kind of like, where the luxury came in hip hop?” Then Bellamy explained the whole thing.

He said, “Well I think from my perspective, was white music industry people, took a chance on hip-hop. Because it was in the basement apartment right? And white executives had a meeting and said you know why don’t we give hip hop a chance? And hiphop came out of the basement running and it just exploded like went to all the floors like it was just going to be on the floor. It just boomed, and it was in media you know?”


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After that he took Tyson’s name and told that he is the hip-hop champion.

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Mike Tyson was a hip-hop champion


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On the interview, Bill Bellamy continued, “I felt like from my perspective how hip hop just blew up, so a guy like Mike Tyson who is one thousand percent hip hop is humungous, because he is you know he is like it was just like the timing everything.”

Watch this story: Mike Tyson gifts 24 carat gold bathtub to his wife

In response to that Mike Tyson said, “Now listen Tom, I’m the first hip-hop champion.”


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Tyson was referring to how he was the first heavyweight champion to be so deeply entwined with hip-hop culture. His unique style and his friendship with many artists in the hip-hop industry might also gave him the tag.

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Written by:

Soumyajit Karmakar


One take at a time

Soumyajit is a boxing writer at EssentiallySports, an avid fan of combat sports. He completed his graduation in Biology and developed an interest in writing from the initial days. A tech enthusiast with interest in sports, music, finance, crypto, and stocks.
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Edited by:

Arijit Saha