Proof rapper was Eminem’s best friend in life and his death in 2006 certainly showed that to the world. DeShaun Dupree Holton, aka P, Big Proof, Proof or Derty Harry, died at 4.30am on 11 April 2006 at the age of 32.
Thousands of people payed their last respects to him on 18th and 19th April 2006 as he was laid out in a 24-carat gold-plated casket. Proof rapper had been dressed in a beige suit, his trademark Kangol cap and a pair of brown Seamless Edition Air Force 1 trainers; a Detroit Pistons jersey signed by his fans and friends on the basketball team was also draped over his dead body.
Celebrities from Detriot Michigan were out in full force; Dr. Dre, Xzibit, Lloyd Banks and Young Buck of G-Unit, and Treach and Vinnie of Naughty by Nature were there. In attendance was also the remaining members of Proof’s group D12 and a host of other local luminaries: members of Slum Village, of 5 Ela, Goon Sqwad, Promatic and more.
Eminem came to mourn his best friend, sitting between his manager, Paul Rosenberg, and 50 Cent in the second row, just behind Proof’s mother, wife, aunts, children, and cousins.
The rapper had looked miserable and he repeatedly embraced members of Proof’s family – his wife Sharonda, mother Sherallene and grandmother Myra – crying with them, hugging them, and rocking back and forth.
Proof rapper had been Eminem’s best friend and right-hand man both on and off-stage. The death of Proof has been subject to a lot of speculation but one fact remains constant, Proof rapper had been shot at the CCC club, an after-hours establishment on a sketchy stretch of East 8 Mile road in Detroit, where he and a few friends were playing pool after a night of party-hopping.
The story that came out immediately after said that he had found himself in an argument with Keith Bender Jr, a 35-year-old Desert Storm veteran, allegedly during a game of pool. The argument had turned physical, attracting the attention of the club’s bouncer, Mario Etheridge, who is Bender’s cousin.
In the course of a few minutes, both Bender and Proof were fatally shot: the bullet to Bender’s face took his life eight days later ( which was the same morning that Proof was buried), Proof rapper was killed instantly by two shots to his back and one to the back of his head.
Proof rapper was immediately casted as a thug rapper slaying a war veteran in cold blood but a couple of things have caused that account of the incident to be questioned.
Some witnesses claim, the fight that ensued in the club that night involved more men than Keith Bender and Proof and that guns were fired by several people. Meanwhile, Etheridge was not been charged with murder by the authorities but instead faces two counts of possessing and discharging a weapon without a license. In a preliminary hearing, he pleaded not guilty to these charges.
A couple of days after the incident, the Detroit police announced that Proof rapper did not enter the CCC club with a firearm. They also stated that Etheridge did not arrive with a pistol either, but rather grabbed a gun during the ensuing ruckus. There were also some character testimonies that called into question the possibility of Proof rapper having shot first.
Here are a few things about Proof rapper that left people doubtful:
- H. Mack – a very close childhood friend of Proof’s who was near enough to the action that night to have been shot in the hand, said that he’d never shoot anybody unless they fired first.
- Proof rapper was apparently a man of the people in Detriot. He was the consummate diplomat, charming everyone. He was also the only kid in the neighborhood to see the potential in a smart-ass white boy named Marshall Mathers.
- Proof’s legacy prevailed in his death and it was that he had brought everyone together once more, and the lust for living that informed his life was tangible.
- He was a gifted and giving anomaly, a rapper who cared for art over materialism, but did all he could to bring wealth to others