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April 12 - Detroit News article on Proof

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  • April 12 - Detroit News article on Proof

    www.detnews.com

    T he violent death of Detroit rapper Proof has hip-hop artists and fans asking if rap produces violence or if it's simply a reflection of the dangers black men face in urban America.

    "Proof's death is an example of the violence claiming the lives of a lot of young black men all over America, not just rappers," said Mister Mann Frisby, 31, a Philadelphia-based author, who wrote a book about young black men in America. "For every rapper who gets shot and killed there are 300 nameless young black men who die the same way."

    Proof, 32, whose real name was Deshaun Holton, was an integral member of Detroit's hip-hop community and superstar rapper Eminem's right-hand man. He was gunned down around 4:30 a.m. Tuesday at the CCC nightclub on Eight Mile on Detroit's east side. Police said Proof was shot after shooting a man at the club. The investigation continues.

    Proof was the second member of superstar rapper Eminem's entourage to be shot in Detroit within four months. Obie Trice was shot in the head New Year's Eve while driving on the Lodge Freeway but has recovered. Nationally, hip-hop superstars Tupac Shakur, the Notorious B.I.G., and Run DMC's Jam Master Jay were shot to death in the last decade.

    In an eerie coincidence, Proof was shot and killed in Eminem's 2005 music video for "Like Toy Soldiers," a song that warns against hip-hop wars escalating into real life violence. The video shows a bloodied Proof lying in a hospital bed while doctors try to revive him, and also depicts the rapper's funeral.

    Proof also prophesied his death on "No T. Lose," a track from his 2005 solo album "Searching for Jerry Garcia," rapping, "Broken hearted, my soul's like an open target/ And I'm ready to leave Earth, you step to my death next year on my T-shirt."

    Jake Hill interviewed Proof a month ago for a story in Detroit Rock City magazine that hits newsstands this week. He said Proof knew violence was a part of life, but he never worried about it.

    "I think it's a Detroit thing, honestly," Proof said, addressing Trice's shooting in the interview.


    Strictly Lyrical...

    Representin tha M-I...616

  • #2
    Another article on Proof. Paradime calls Proof a "Godfather of Detroit Hip Hop"

    Detroit rapper Proof is being remembered as an integral member of Detroit's hip-hop community, an architect who played a pivotal role in shaping what became one of the most famous chapters in hip-hop history.

    The gruff-voiced rapper, whose real name was Deshaun Holton, was a founding member of the rap group D12 and a close friend of Eminem. Proof acted as Eminem's hype-man during his concert performances worldwide and played an integral role in helping shape the career of the rap phenom.

    Throughout Em's career, he and Proof had been inseparable. And Proof, who was married and had children, was Em's best man when he remarried Kim Mathers at Meadow Brook Hall in January.

    Proof's skills at freestyle rapping -- coming up with lyrics off the top of your head -- made him a Detroit rap legend, as did his gigs hosting battles at Detroit's famed Hip-Hop Shop on Seven Mile in the mid-to-late '90s.

    Proof's importance in the local hip-hop scene was immortalized in the 2002 film "8 Mile," in which Mekhi Phifer's character was loosely based on the rapper.

    "He was like the godfather of Detroit hip-hop," Detroit rapper Paradime said Tuesday. "If there was one person that was Detroit hip-hop, it was Proof."

    Dime, along with a host of Detroit rap talent -- including Eminem, members of D12, Obie Trice, Trick Trick, DJ Houseshoes and members of the Fat Killahz, Purple Gang and Slum Village -- showed up at St. John's Hospital on Tuesday morning to remember the man known as Big Proof, or P, to friends and fans.

    Proof rapped on Dime's last two albums, "Vices" and "11 Steps Down," and Dime said he was going to tour overseas with Proof after he completed his current run of dates with Kid Rock, for whom he is a DJ.

    Dime described Proof, who attended Detroit's Osborn High School, as "crazy -- but in a good way. He was a walking party at all times."

    Proof enjoyed multiplatinum riches with D12, but stayed accessible and visible in the community.

    "He was always in the spots. You'd see him all around town," said Detroit rapper Phat Kat, who had known Proof for more than a decade.

    Dan Hoops, a lawyer for Proof's Iron Fist Records, said Proof wasn't all about "being Mr. Big Shot Celebrity. He wanted to be a regular guy."

    Proof would talk to anybody who came up to him and would have kind words for anybody who approached him, Hoops said.

    Seeing what happened to Eminem's personal life as a result of worldwide fame "made (Proof) concerned about having too much success," Hoops said.

    As a result, Proof marketed and recorded his long-in-the-works, full-length solo debut, "Searching for Jerry Garcia," largely on his own. The record, released in August, has sold 52,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

    D12's Bizarre told The News in January the group was preparing to work on its third album for a possible 2007 release. D12's first two albums sold a total of 4 million copies.

    Phat Kat said Proof's death is "a great loss to the Detroit hip-hop community. I'll always remember him as being a good dude."

    Detroit rapper Hush said Proof meant everything to the scene. "There is no Detroit hip-hop scene without Proof."

    You can reach Adam Graham at (313) 222-2284 or [email protected].


    Strictly Lyrical...

    Representin tha M-I...616

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    • #3
      thanks
      Boston, Massachusetts

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      • #4
        Proof was a regular guy. I saw him in public quite a few times, at Alvins hosting battles, and even drinking up at the Hayloft or Wild Woody's.. He definitly will go down as a Detroit Rap Legend and one of the illest emcees the D has produced...I record in Mo Master studio which was the first studio Proof went to way back in the day..heard some tight stories about him
        I went to triple c's a few times and remember one of the bouncers or so callled "security" rolling up a blunt in the back of the bar on the VIP platform, and it definitly set off an alarm that the place was definitlely not the most safe environment..on top of that some haters broke my boys back window out of pure jealousy...Can't believe i was just there a few weeks ago and had heard that Proof had been coming up there...my boy ran in to him about 3 weeks ago and got a picture with him inside CCC's cus they were suppossed to start collaborating...I give him respect for still having that "star status" but going to a place like CCC's where most so called people who think they are hard wouldnt even step foot. He will surely be missed... Lets make his dream come true and blow the D up like it should be.. DETROIT STAND UP

        www.gatorcaprecords.com
        www.mixtapedetroit.com
        www.detroithiphop.com
        JOE KANE UNCUT

        PRESENTS
        THE KATE MOSS DIET

        COMING THIS SUMMER!
        http://www.detroitsfinest.com

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