Today in Hip Hop History: October 2, 1973
DeShaun Dupree Holton, aka Proof, was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1973. Proof was an American rapper and a member of many different groups which include D12, 5 Elements, Funky Cowboys, and Promatic. He was also a close friend to fellow Detroit-based Eminem who happened to grow up on the same block.
Originally known as Maximum, Proof cemented his career as co-founder of D12. His first TV appearance was in 1995 in Aaliyah‘s music video for “Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number.” Four years later, The Source magazine featured Proof in their “Unsigned Hype” column, similar to that of XXL’s current annual Freshman List. In 2000, he toured with Eminem, Dr. Dre, and Snoop Dogg as Em’s hype man. Proof also starred in 8 Mile as Lil’ Tic, the battle freestyle rapper that takes on B-Rabbit. Ironically enough, the role that was formed for Proof was handled by someone else. He also starred in The Longest Yard remake as a basketball convict.
Proof did not release his solo albums through Aftermath or Shady Records because he was interested in blazing his own trail. He released his debut album, Grown Man Shit, through his own independent label Iron Fist Records. Proof released his second album, Searching For Jerry Garcia, ten years after the death of Jerry Garcia himself in 2006. The album was lauded for its eclectic sound and introspective features as the MC cited Jerry’s influence for going “against the grain” with his music.
Unfortunately later that year, an altercation in a Detroit club led to Proof being shot four times. There are several different accounts of what occurred that night, but DeShaun and a friend of his. Keith Bender. were both shot and killed. Proof was then buried at the Fellowship Chapel in Detroit to a full house of over 2,500 people, including Eminem and Royce Da 5’9. Gone way too soon, but never forgotten.
Happy birthday and Rest in Peace to DeShaun “Proof” Holton (1973-2006).