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The strange moment Mike Tyson and Madonna wrote a dance song inspired by fascism


In this instalment of the ever-confounding world of pop culture oddities, we delve into the bewildering back catalogue of Mike Tyson and his maddening artistic output. If you thought his days in the animated series solving mysteries with a talking pigeon were strange, then this collaboration with Madonna is every bit as surreal. 

Things took a turn towards the baffling from the get-go when Madonna inexplicably called the former Heavy Weight Champion and asked him to come and meet her. Somehow the conversation never broached the topic of why she wanted to meet up with Tyson, and the boxer never thought to ask. He simply said, “Madonna calls you and tells you to come somewhere, you go.”

Thus, unaware of what awaited him, Tyson travelled down to the studio she was working in and was greeted by the ‘Like a Virgin’ star and her producer. Therein, she asked Tyson to lay down a verse on a song she was working on called ‘Iconic’ from her 2015 album Rebel Heart. Needless to say, Tyson isn’t renowned for his punchy pronunciation never mind rapping, but Madonna seemed to have a plan. 

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Things got even stranger from then on as Tyson decided to draw upon some entirely condemnable inspiration for his verse. “When I did it, I think about being some guy like [Benito] Mussolini,” he inexplicably revealed to Rolling Stone. And he didn’t just leave it saying he drew upon the fascist dictator as a brash reference point, he even went on to credit his charisma. 

As he continued, “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.” Not content with merely comparing himself to Mussolini, he waded into even more hot water later on. 

“No wonder why Hitler was attracted to him,” he added like a man in a media training video. “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.”

Surprisingly, Tyson isn’t the first person to bring fascists into the arts either, as David Bowie once infamously bated, “Rock stars are fascists, too. Adolf Hitler was one of the first rock stars.” However, Bowie’s fascination was delved into endlessly with his music as he pulled and picked at the fabric of philosophy. Tyson’s verse, however, seems to have absolutely nothing to do with fascism and bar his mad gesticulated style of rap, nobody would’ve ever made the connection if it wasn’t for his controversial interview comments. 

Somehow this oddity – which also features Chance the Rapper after Jay-Z passed up the opportunity – seems to have evaded the glare of the mainstream and lingers in obscurity—the sort of the fever dreamed realm of obscurity that has you wondering whether it ever really happened or the video below is just some sort of AI-generated illusion. 

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