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50 Tyson, whose real name is Antonio Henderson-Davis, is an amateur rap artist who gained notoriety for his awkward freestyle videos on YouTube. Following his rise to viral fame, he publicly revealed that he has been diagnosed with autism and became involved with various support programs.
Henderson-Davis took the nickname “50 Tyson” after his friends told him that he looked like a mix between rapper 50 Cent and the former professional boxer Mike Tyson. He uploaded his first freestyle video titled “50 tyson” on January 29th, 2009, followed by his second video with the same title on February 9th, 2009. Set in the bathroom, Henderson-Davis begins by mentioning that his album will be dropping soon and proceeds to freestyle rap in redundant and cliche lyrics, such as “I’m not gonna lie man,” “all day, everyday” and that his name is 50 Tyson.
His videos gained much attention from several hip hop music blogs and online forums including Bossip, World Star Hip Hop, Hip Hop Wired, Urlesque, Body Building Forums, and Wiki Answers. The news coverage picked up around August 2010, which corresponds with a significant rise in YouTube viewership as shown below.
50 Tyson became even more popular after stand up comic and actor Kevin Hart uploaded a parody video starring himself on August 8th, 2010. Hart’s parody has garnered over 5.6 million views as of November 2012.
On June 23rd, 2010, Comedy Central’s Tosh.0 aired a parody version starring Daniel Tosh.
On October 11th, 2010, a video titled “50 Tyson Diss Eli Porter” was uploaded to YouTube, which shows 50 Tyson freestyle rapping with another man.
In January 2011, Eli Porter released a video with a looped audio track repeating “fuck 50 Tyson” in which he briefly freestyles and mentions the upcoming release of a mixtape. 50 Tyson subsequently released a video called “50 Tyson response to disses” in which he claims he is not interested in rap battles or dissing other rappers.
50 Tyson later revealed that he has autism, and wrote an article for The Huffington Post called “Living With Autism: Why I Haven’t Let It Stop Me From Building a Career in the Music Industry”.
Being a rapper has allowed me to become a spokesman for autism. That makes me very happy because it’s important that I do my part in raising money and awareness for autism. I am proud to say 20 percent of my album proceeds will be donated to various autism charities. Autism impacts a lot of people and we need to demonstrate there are ways to help us and make our lives better.
He is currently signed with Hudson Records and has produced several music videos including “Don’t Know How To Dougie”, and “I Ain’t Gonna Lie Man”. On April 15th, 2011, his debut album Rhythm of Autism was released with 20% of proceeds going to autism charities.
Search queries had a spike in August of 2010, which matches blog coverage and YouTube visits to his most popular video around the same time.
World Star Hip Hop – 50 Tyson Is Singing For The Ladies! Can I Be The One That Hold You Down? / 8/21/2010