Mike Tyson Talks Bizarre Cameo on Madonna's Rebel Heart LP

Madonna, Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson Talks Bizarre Cameo on Madonna's Rebel Heart LP

The boxer reveals his strange rap inspiration.

Published January 25, 2015

Providing guest vocals on a Madonna track is about the last place you'd expect to find Mike Tyson, but that's exactly where he is. The boxer-turned-actor talks to Rolling Stone about his role on the Material Girl's next LP, Rebel Heart, and the bizarre place he found inspiration.

Says Tyson, who hasn't yet heard the finished track, "Madonna calls you and tells you to come somewhere, you go." 

He continues, "I didn't know what the hell I was going there for. I'm just there having a good time and hanging out with Madonna. She has her producer there and I go into the studio and I didn't know if she wanted me to talk or rap. I just go in there and start talking. I'm talking about my life and things that I have endured. I'm saying some really crazy stuff. It was really intense."

Tyson ad-libbed his part of the song — which he says was done in one take — and drew inspiration from an unlikely icon. "When I did it, I think about being some guy like [Benito] Mussolini, and they're really arrogant, but you try to come from a positive perspective and be uplifting. You watch Mussolini on television — even though we don't understand what he's saying — he is so mesmerizing. I look at myself in that way.

"I know people may say, 'This guy's a fascist,' and all this stuff, but man, you can take positivity from watching him," added Tyson. "No wonder why Hitler was attracted to him. This guy's a hypnotic figure. There's so much pride behind what he's saying. I'm not even Italian and I feel the pride he's projecting. He had that street swag; he was doing this stuff with his hands and moving his head before it was even hip hop."

"Madonna's trying to do something that since the beginning of time has been the most difficult thing to do: Save the world."

Tyson says the experience may be the birth of a new career for him. "Doing the song with Madonna makes me think this [music career] could really happen," he says. "Most guys that come in there drink a bunch of liquor or smoke 100 blunts. I just went in and boom, one take. Everyone thought it was cool."

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(Photos from Left: UPI/Jim Ruymen /Landov, Robin Marchant/Getty Images for the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival)

Written by Evelyn Diaz


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