Today [April 11] marks the fifth anniversary of the death of rapper Proof (real name Deshaun Holton), a key figure in the Detroit-based rap group D12 and childhood friend of Eminem.
Proof, who’d been hosting batte-rap competitions at the renowned Hip-Hop Shop for years and later Fight Club, was instrumental in assembling the D12 rap collective. Featuring members Bizarre, Swift, Kuniva, Kon Artist and frontman Eminen, the band of rap misfits helped to propel Em’s rise into fame. Proof recorded two albums with the group, 2001’s Devil’s Night and 2004’s D12 World, before releasing his solo debut album Jerry Garcia in 2005.
Tragically, the Detroit hip hop legend was shot and killed on April 11, 2006, after an altercation at the C.C.C. nightclub on Detroit’s East Side.
Fellow Motor City rapper Royce Da 5’9 made a couple of statements regarding the anniversary of his friend’s death via Twitter today.
“Proof did enough while he was living to make his legacy in Detroit last FOREVER!,” he wrote. “Ya’ll “Cover Charge n----s” is looking real crazy Smh... I don’t celebrate my n----s getting shot in the head... Nah... I’m tryna block that outta memory n [sic] hold back tears..”
Rapper Xzibit chimed in by reposting a tweet from one of his Twitter followers that read, “And f--- the media in Detroit for painting the generic gangsta portrait of Proof after he was killed. C---suckers.”
Eminem, who dedicated two songs, “Going Through Changes” and “You’re Never Over,” to his fallen friend on his latest album, Recovery, has yet to make a public statement.
(Photo: Rebecca Cook /Landov)