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4/19-PROOF 1973-2006: Fans, friends pay final respects to rapper

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  • 4/19-PROOF 1973-2006: Fans, friends pay final respects to rapper

    PROOF | 1973-2006: Fans, friends pay final respects to rapper

    Detroit Free Press Article

    April 19, 2006

    BY KELLEY L. CARTER

    FREE PRESS MUSIC WRITER

    Police say about 4,000 people went to the viewing of Detroit hip-hop artist Proof on Tuesday. Some of the mourners, like the man at left, wore T-shirts with Proof's likeness on them. (ERIC SEALS/Detroit Free Press)

    The funeral service for Proof is to begin at 11 a.m. today at Fellowship Chapel, 7707 W. Outer Drive in Detroit.

    It is open to the public, but friends, family and music industry colleagues will have seating priority. The church's sanctuary can hold approximately 2,000 people.

    And now, it's real.

    After mourning the death of Proof for a week, hundreds of his fans and friends came out Tuesday to view his body, which was placed inside a gold-toned casket at Fellowship Chapel on Detroit's west side.

    For many, it was jarring to see the champion of Detroit hip-hop lifeless, but wearing all his usual accessories -- sporty athletic suit, Kangol cap. His rap moniker and birth name, Deshaun D. Holton, were etched at the bottom of the casket in English script.

    "We knew he was gone," said rapper King Gordy, a good friend of Proof, who'd been a judge at his infamous Fight Club rap battles. "But when you see him now, it's like, 'Here goes a reality check.' Right now, Detroit has a black cloud over it."

    Gordy was among hundreds of mourners who'd left work, skipped school or simply took a moment to acknowledge the passing of the rapper, who was killed last week in a shooting at a club that was operating after-hours.

    On Monday night, some of Proof's most famous friends had a private viewing of his body. Members of D12, including Eminem, were there the night before the public viewing to pay their respects to their former band mate.

    Bizarre, also a D12 member, was unable to make it on Monday, and early Tuesday afternoon was brought in through a back entrance of the church, and the doors were closed to the public for about 10 minutes.

    Inside the church -- cameras were not allowed -- the rapper was dressed in same kind of outfit he'd wear in music videos or around town. A Detroit Pistons jersey -- No. 1 Chauncey Billups -- autographed by several players, was draped over Proof's body.

    On either side of the pulpit, two large video screens showed continuously looped video footage of Proof in music videos, on stage in concert or just clowning around. He was surrounded by a huge collection of floral arrangements, including some sent by Geffen Records and Interscope Records, the latter label being the home of D12.

    "Today feels gloomy, even though it's sunny out," said Greg C. Brown, who has played lead guitar on several D12 tracks.

    Detroit Police were a heavy presence inside and outside the church, with about a dozen cops and additional private security in the vicinity. Police had said the security was necessary because of Proof's fame. Although the viewing was scheduled to end at 9 p.m. and crowds had tapered off by then, the church planned to accept latecomers until about 11 p.m. A mixture of old and young, white and black -- some in T-shirts with Proof's likeness airbrushed on them, some in suits -- congregated outside the church, giving hugs, breaking down and consoling each other.

    "It doesn't seem real, said Marvwon of the Detroit rap group Fat Killahz. "He was Superman. How do you kill Superman?"

    Some hobbled on crutches, others rolled in on wheelchairs and several walked with canes. Some didn't know him personally.

    "For the most part, everybody is taking it hard. Especially his mom," said 37-year-old Kenneth Malone, Proof's cousin, who also will be a pallbearer in the service today. "We're just trying to maintain. Once we get past this, we'll deal with it really. Right now, we're just trying to do what we can for the public."

    As people left the viewing, they were given a postcard-sized handout -- a picture of D12, without Eminem, on the front, and a story about Proof's life on the back.

    Outside of the service, local rappers, friends of Proof and those who worked with him at his Detroit-based Iron Fist Records label made plans for how they would honor their friend at today's service. They all decided to wear Kangol caps and black T-shirts that have his image silk-screened on the front and the words "Big Proof Forever 1973-2006" on the back.

    Contact KELLEY L. CARTER at 313-222-8854 or [email protected].
    Blow me...

  • #2
    I nearly started crying again.
    Bless it
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Respect isnt something that is given, you have to earn it.

    Comment


    • #3
      ^^^^ same here

      Comment


      • #4
        Yeah me 3

        Comment


        • #5
          I wanted to go to that viewing so bad.

          Damn I still can't believe this shit.
          "You wanna be the one in control
          You wanna be the one who's alive
          You wanna be the one who gets old
          It's not a matter of luck - it's just a matter of time

          Comment


          • #6
            so sad... rip derty harry...

            (off topic why didnt they put a pic on the postcard of proof alone or a pic of the complete with eminem and bugz?)

            Comment


            • #7






              Originally posted by midwestwitch
              If I were to find out it was you would be responsible for a teenage boy losing every ounce of a social life, cell phone, gaming consoles etc until he graduated high school and left for college.

              Comment


              • #8
                R.I.P. big Proof


                props on info

                Comment


                • #9
                  thanks for the pics manuel!i have nothing to say....

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    im fuyckin devastated, guess its turthfully 4real, thought theyd have a closed casket but guess not......

                    like king gordy said

                    "We knew he was gone," said rapper King Gordy, a good friend of Proof, who'd been a judge at his infamous Fight Club rap battles. "But when you see him now, it's like, 'Here goes a reality check.' Right now, Detroit has a black cloud over it."


                    u realize the lifes truthfully gone when u see them layign there, man....illl miss u P, god bless hommie...king of detroit? more like da king of rap, in my mind....u were 1 of kind.


                    R.I.P.
                    Last edited by kdiddy845; 04-19-2006, 07:17 AM.
                    R.I.P. PROOF
                    I Don't know what to think anymore.
                    You were the most influential, inspiring person in my life, you wEre my idol hommie....

                    Comment


                    • #11


                      Thnx for the article and the pic's.
                      Its so sad
                      ...ALLES IS KUNST...

                      Today there will be no remorse at all,
                      Come what may.....!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Those pics really capture the emotion and the atmosphere.
                        Build Big Muscles Fast

                        Foods That Will Kill Your Appetite

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          man its just wow.. i'm so sad.. i have nothing really to say.. i wish i coulda went yesterday but my daughter had dr's appointments out of town all day dam.....

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            R.I.P. Proof. This past week just still seems so surreal.

                            Thanks for sharing the article & the pics...
                            I'm an angel.. Honest
                            The horns are just there to keep the halo straight

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              i'm about to cry again. this is really sad. i feel so bad for everyone who knew him.

                              thanks for the pics and article.

                              i wanted to go to this too

                              RIP
                              Last edited by d12oh0lic; 04-19-2006, 10:52 AM.
                              Rest In Peace, Big Proof
                              1973-2006

                              Comment

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