Fans and loved ones gathered in Detroit this afternoon (April 11) to remember slain D12 member Proof and commemorate the two-year anniversary of his death.
“Since he’s been gone he was the head of everything, so I’m trying to straighten things up and its hard. No one can fill those shoes,” D12 member Mr. Porter told AllHipHop.com.
A candlelight vigil will be held from 4-6pm EST at Woodlawn Cemetery, where the artist was put to rest six days after his death in front of a crowd of 2,000 people, including best friend Eminem who eulogized Proof.
Proof, born Deshaun Holton, was shot at the age of 32, following an altercation outside of the CCC Club on East Eight Mile Road.
According to police and eyewitness reports, a fight broke out between Proof and 35-year-old Keith Bender inside the nightclub, which was operating after hours illegally.The fight continued outside, where Bender was allegedly shot first by Proof, who then suffered a gunshot wound to the head at the hands of bouncer Mario Etheridge.
The shooter also happened to be Bender’s cousin.
Bender died on April 18th, 2006 of gunshot wounds sustained in the incident.
Proof, who actually founded D12 in 1990, was heralded as one of the most important figures on Detroit’s Hip-Hop scene.
Known for hosting several rap battles around the city, most notably at the legendary Hip-Hop Shop where all six members of D12 first met, Proof was the inspiration for Mekhi Phifer’s 8 Mile character Future.
“He taught me how to be a leader,” Eminem said during Proof’s funeral two years ago. “I’m sure everybody who has ever met him, even just once, can testify to the fact that he illuminated a room when he walked in it. I believe that Proof loved people and people loved him. He was a magnet. He lured you in. You wanted to learn about him, follow his swagger. Without Proof, there would be no Eminem, no Slim Shady, no D12. You’re the man.”
“Proof is the one,” added Shady Records labelmate Obie Trice, who had coincidentally also been the victim of a shooting in Detroit only 3 months before Proof’s death. “He is the pioneer of Detroit music.”The candlelight vigil at Woodlawn will be followed by a gathering at the GoodLife Lounge in Detroit.
Later tonight, Detroit’s Hip Hop 4 Habitat Detroit will host the Hip-Hop & Habit Game and concert in honor of Proof, featuring Almost September with MC Lyte, Big Herk, Ray Ray and others.
Proof is survived by a wife and five children.