Rap Stars, Celebs Celebrate Mike Tyson's Movie Return

AllHipHop Staff

Last night former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson was the talk of the evening as a gaggle of celebrities convened in Manhattan’s downtown AMC theater to celebrate the release of the documentary called “Tyson.”

Celebrities included Nas, Mario, Jimmy “Henchmen” Rosemond, Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele, Ice-T and wife Coco, TV host Sway, media personality Egypt, boxing legend “Smokin’” Joe Frazier, Christopher Walken and several others.

Film director James Toback managed to capture the many facets of Mike Tyson from his early beginnings to his present existence as a family man. Much of Tyson’s family and friends were present for the premier as well.

Michael Steele, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, said that seeing Tyson resurrect his career was a joyous reason for celebration and one that he’s very familiar with.

“Mike is family. Mike and I have a long history together. Of course, he was married to my sister Monica,” Steele told AllHipHop.com. “I’m excited for Mike. He’s got a lot of things going on and, you know, he’s pulling all the ends together and this documentary is kind of a way to help him do that.”

Rapper Nas served as one of the movie’s producers and he also crafted the theme song of the movie, a rap tune called “Legendary.” Other producers included basketball player Carmelo Anthony, Hip-Hop producer Salaam Remi Gibbs and Toback.

Rappers like LL Cool J, Tupac Shakur and Canibus all had some form of relationship with Tyson and the icon’s name has been mentioned countless times in rap songs. Nas explained that the Hip-Hop generation has a special affinity for Tyson, as he emerged during a period where Hip-Hop was exploding on the scene.

Nas said, “We never had anybody represent us in the way that Mike Tyson represented. He’s a leader. I think it’s a great thing to…give the people his life. It takes a brave man and an intelligent man [to do that]. You get to see the real side of Mike.”

In “Tyson,” the Brooklyn native cries, expresses rage over his rape conviction, self-doubt, fear and an entire spectrum of seemingly conflicting emotions. He even admits he contracted a sexually transmitted disease prior to winning the heavy weight belt at 19. He was the youngest to do so.

Nas suggested that Mike Tyson could venture into acting, stating that the boxing champ was equipped for everything from drama to comedy.

“Just go back on what Mike has meant to us thought all the years. Mike has been the first baller of our generation, the first champion of our generation that stood for the common man,” he continued.

“I don’t think legacies can be defined. It’s something that we witness. The rise and fall of a man and a boxer and to see him rise again,” said Anthony Anderson, who admitted that his favorite Mike Tyson moment was when he defeated Trevor Berbick.

Ultimately, many felt the film served to give fans a deep dive into the mind of a man mistakenly vilified as a monster.

“A lot of people have an idea about him that’s not correct,” Nas concluded.

“Tyson” will start screenings in Los Angeles and New York on Friday.

Click here for images from the premiere in New York.