R.I.P. Big Proof: The Heart of the City

Four years ago today (April 11), Detroit rap legend Proof was shot to death outside a nightclub in his hometown following a dispute with another patron. Born DeShaun Holton, he was a major force in the local hip-hop scene, as the longtime host of the D’s famed Hip-Hop Shop battles. In fact, Mekhi Phifer’s portrayal of Future in 8 Mile was based on Proof, who also had a cameo in the film.

An accomplished rapper in his own right, Proof broke into the mainstream as part of hip-hop super group D12, which consisted of Kon Artist, Bizarre, Swift, Kuniva and best friend Eminem. As one of the people who knew him best, Bizarre shares his fondest memories of the fallen rap star and why Proof will always have the last laugh.

When I initially heard about Proof’s passing it was very shocking. I didn’t want to believe it. It hit me hard. I just got in my car and drove around, trying to put it all together, and just take it all in.

Proof is Detroit hip-hop. Period. His legacy is his kids and the impact he left on the culture… Proof is a giant in Detroit, man. He left behind some very big shoes to fill, so we’re constantly dealing with his lost, and taking it head on. He is still missed to this day.

If he was alive it’d be funny to see him interact with these new guys in the game. His pranks were legendary. Anybody could get it at any time. Honestly, we pranked reporters more than anybody else. We’d do stupid stuff like answer the door and be naked. We got away with a lot overseas.

Proof was always a jokester but through it all he took me under his wing. He really let me explore. He would always make sure that I was straight. Didn’t matter what it was. He’d make sure that I had money in my pocket and always kept a funny line in the pocket. I was a young guy, so you know, I really want to take this time out to thank him for his knowledge. He always had a lot of quotes and wise stuff he’d always say…

I’d also like to thank our fans and audience for continuing to keep an ear out for us out of the D. Proof and a couple of other cats have set the standard here and we’re pushing that. New York has their way of doing [hip-hop], but we’ve created our Detroit movement to be reflective of what goes on here. They started it and laid the path for us all, but those guys in the D have laid the path for us and theirs is the blueprint that we’ve chosen to follow.

D12′s future is dead set on keep pushing. Kuniva has a mixtape that’s coming out soon, my album is finished, and we’re all going to head back into the studio after this tour to work on a new album. Right now it’s really about keeping the [D12] name and Proof’s legacy going and just stay pushing. —As told to Kevin L. Clark

R.I.P. DeShaun “Proof” Holton: October 2, 1975 – April 11, 2006

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  • http://www.1hiphop.wordpress.com Noles506

    Damn, that’s one eerie video….

  • Panoramic

    Proof’s da shiiiiit
    “were in the nastiest band with gats in each hand”

  • http://myspace.com/kidpistol Kid Pistol

    Thank YOU for posting this!!

  • Aaron

    R.I.P. PROOF

  • http://www.myspace.com/djlennswann Swann

    R.I.P Deshaun “Big Proof” Holton, You will always be missed.

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  • http://www.jamal7mile.blogspot.com Jamal7Mile

    Rest well, homie…


    R.I.P. Big Proof …”It’s always the coolest niggas that fuck around N get murdered. -Nas: Belly”

  • Chris S

    as we all know, it’s because of Proof they put the “G” in the alphabet.

    still miss and always will. just not the same hearing D12 without you

  • Mike


  • epinz

    fuck eminem get it in!!!!!!!

    • eesco

      Eveybody sayim something good about a homie dead and gone and there always gotta b one crab ass nigga saying some fuck shit. Nah nigga fuck you. R.I.P. Big Proof

  • scartown

    Whoa,4 years already!That shit feels like yesterday. R.I.P. BIG PROOF!


    R.I.P. Big proof and anyone who says fuck eminem, fuck you.They are one in the same you diss one you diss all of D12.
    Yeah Toy Soldiers is straight fucked up to watch seein as how Proof was alive when that shit was filmed.The Kuniva Retribution mixtape is straight fire, I was really impressed and think he is by far the most lyrical in D12 next to Eminem, if you aint heard it scoop that shit up.I cant wait till they do another cd Im sure it will be yet another classic.

  • hutch

    cant beleive its been 4 years.

    Proof was the shit R.I.P Big Proof!

    Detroit stand up 1 love

  • PAUL


  • Crocker

    Love & Respect to one of the best the Midwest ever produced. Rest in peace Big Proof.

  • JON


  • Escobar9300

    Rest in Peace Big Proof. Its a colder world without you homie. Still trips me out how the like toy soldiers video completely foreshadowed his death by coincidence.

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  • bogo

    Proof’s was much more than an hype-man. He was a respected battle rapper, a team player, a mentor to Eminem, D12′s man who glued everyone together… Jay Dilla’s first bandmate. RIP DESHAUN HOLTON.

  • Ari from Kosovo Peja & London

    Proof I miss you so bad and I cant imagen Eminem in stage without you damn :( R.I.P BIG PROOF and thx you 4 giving as the best rep artist Eminem and D12 :))))

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  • caino

    ‘is Richard prior still Alive? If not l’m sicker than he was prior to him dying’

    damn dude is well missed!

  • DaffyDillinger

    Good article dude.

    P.S. And why is this dude up here talking shit on Eminem? What the fuck he do to you that was so bad to where you posting hate mail on a article about Proof talking shit about Eminem?

  • DaffyDillinger

    @Caino-I thought it was Kon Artis that said that. I’m not sure, I had that song on a cd for a while but I lost it. So I havn’t heard it in a while

  • Caino

    It sure was , but l see Proof,, l see D12 l see Devils Night, and thats my fave line from the album……just (‘girlfriend had a miscarriage…l had to eat it’, is another fave)

  • ATX

    Damn I miss Proof. His music never got the respect it deserved. RIP

  • Hope

    te amamos big proof… siempre te recordaremos…. eras eres y seras grande… T_T