He’s one of the most celebrated rappers in the world who releases one No. 1 album after another, but when he came face-to-face with Mike Tyson, Eminem turned into a stan. “I’m such a f*ckin’ huge fan,” Eminem told the boxing legend during his episode of Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson. “I can’t even like… I feel like a kid right now! This is crazy.” 

“For me, rap is like a 24-7 job, and it takes a lot of dedication to stay sharp with the pen,” Eminem said. “It’s a different kind of discipline to [fight. And the balls to get in the ring and fight in the first place.” The rapper sat eagerly through most of the conversation, soaking up the words Tyson shared with him about his boxing history, insecurities, and survival mindset.

There are many gems in the dialogue, including Eminem relaying the story of being discovered and what it was like growing up in Detroit. The rapper talked about learning how to fight because of his ongoing physical altercations as a youth, also admitting that he has an eighth-grade education. While they discussed having people in your circle that boost your confidence in this crazy world, Eminem shared “that’s how Proof was to me.”

“He was a Godsend to me because I know that I would not have made it without knowing him,” Eminem said. Proof was a childhood friend of Em’s who was murdered back in 2006. Eminem said Proof “co-signed” for him everywhere he went. “His name meant something because people respected him.” Watch the full episode of Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson below.