On April 11, 2006, Detroit lost one of its beloved hip-hop sons, Proof, when he died from gunshot wounds following a shooting in a local night club. In addition to being a founding member of platinum-selling group, D12, Proof was known for his raspy voice and served as longtime close friend Eminem’s hypeman on tour. The character Future from 8 Mile, played by Mekhi Phifer, was based on Proof. Here, Proof’s friend and former label mate, Obie Trice, shares a few funny anecdotes that give a glimpse into the enigmatic character that was Proof. —Adam Fleischer (@AdamXXL)
He was just a spontaneous, different type of guy. He did a lot for Detroit and the hip-hop movement and culture. He knew the backpackers, he knew the thugs, he knew the gangsters, he knew the killers. He’d jump around. Me, I gotta be with a particular group. I ain’t tryna fuck with everybody. But he did that, and did it well, and brought a lot of people together in the city.
I remember we was in Las Vegas. We in the lobby, chillin’, drinkin’. Suge [Knight] walked in. I wanna meet the dude. Fuck all the dumb shit, ’Pac dead and gone, but this muthafucka had Death Row Records. I wanna shake the brother hand. Proof mad and shit. “What the fuck you wanna shake his hand for?” He pissed at me. We get in a big ass argument. He tauntin’ the dude. Suge smokin’ a cigar. Proof dancin’ around Suge, talkin’ shit. I don’t think Proof knew ’Pac like that, but he appreciated his music and his art. Suge like, let’s go outside. Proof like, “You said that to the last muthafucka and he dead” [Laughs].
I got shot in the head on 2005 New Years Eve, into 2006. I was on the freeway driving in my Range Rover, and six bullets came through, and the fifth bullet hit me in the head. I almost died from that shit. Less and an inch deeper and the doctor said I would have been gone.
So I’m driving, blood everywhere. I went to the hospital and I was there for hours and they examined me and everything, and then they let me go.
It happened in Detroit, but I drove to the suburbs, which is called Southfield. So Detroit Police and Southfield Police were fightin’ over who was gonna have jurisdiction. Michigan State Police end up takin’ over. They took my truck, they drivin’ me home, and I got Proof and 50 muthafuckas just followin’ me to the house. I get home and I don’t have my keys. I can’t get in the house.
I stay in the sticks, and my neighbors already called the police on me so much, so I don’t want the neighbors lookin’. It’s 50 people out there. I’m like, “Damn, I don’t got my keys! The keys is with the police.” And Proof is like, “Wait a minute, let me see.”
He was gone for like 10 minutes. That’s a long time, when we just standin’ outside. I got this big ass bandage on my head. Blood comin’ through the muthafucka. I need to get in and patch my shit up. I’m like, “Where the fuck is Proof at?”
Then I’m talkin’ to his man and them, we forgot about Proof being gone. And then, he just opens the door, like, “Welcome.”
I’m like, “How the fuck did you get in my house?” My house is huge. My shit’s locked. I don’t keep nothin’ opened. I got cameras everywhere. “How the fuck did you get in my house?” He was like a cat burglar. And he still didn’t tell me to this day how the fuck he got in my house [Laughs].
We got many stories. We laughed about that like a muthafucka. We went inside like, “This nigga crazy!” Everything was locked. He was real mysterious.
He was a ill nigga. Proof, he was just a different type of dude.