A true ambassador of Detroit Hip-Hop, "Proof" (who was born DeShaun Dupree Holton) is best known for his close relationship with fellow legendary Detroit bred MC, "Eminem". Proof was born in Detroit, Michigan on October 2nd, 1973 and was also close with the legendary producer out of Detroit, "J.Dilla" due to the work they did with each other while being in the group "5-Elementz". The group consisted of all rappers from Detroit, Mudd, Thyme, J.Dilla & Proof himself. An album created by 5-Elementz that has largely gotten lost in the discography of J.Dilla & Proof alike is "The Album That Time Forgot" in which the production is all handled by J.Dilla. Although the album is a bit raw overall, the passion and the musicianship still makes this album a forgotten treasure in Detroit Hip-Hop. This would not be the last time Proof & Dilla would work together as they would form their own duo, "Funky Cowboys", and from this they would birth plenty of classic songs that are largely hard to find nowadays since the original songs were all recorded over cassette tapes. Fortunately, we have found a good version of this song, "Life" done by the Funky Cowboys that, of course, has the great J.Dilla on the smooth jazzy beat. Some other great (but raw in their quality) songs by the dope duo with Dilla's production are the cuts, "On The Go", "The Fizzo", "Keep It On The Low" & "Da Science".
Proof also was in the infamous group, "D12" that would truly rise to fame once Eminem blew up as an international success with the release of his great solo albums. The group would birth albums such as, "Devils Night" (2001) and "D12 World" (2004) that would top the charts with singles such as, "Fight Music" , "Purple Pills" & "My Band". Proof even released solo albums but the one that stood out the most was his, "Searching for Jerry Garcia" project that received great acclaim for his ability to showcase his undeniable ability to craft songs and also have an introspective nature. This is best showcased on the song, "Kurt Kobain". Unfortunately this would be the last time Proof would be able to release a solo project as he would pass away in Detroit, Michigan after being shot at a bar during an altercation with a bouncer over a pool game. The details are still to this day skewed but what we do know is that Proof played an integral part of putting Detroit Hip-Hop on the map as Eminem has previously stated that without Proof to push him then there would be no Eminem.
We encourage you to check out the collaboration music he did with J.Dilla & Eminem below respectively. Also check out this dope freestyle and this one as well that he did with Eminem before his passing.
Rest In Power Big Proof!