(AllHipHop News) It is never a pleasant experience when loved ones must pay respects to those that have passed, especially when that person is adored, appreciated, and loved on a global scale by friends, family, and millions of fans.
Today (April 11) marks the sixth anniversary of DeShaun "Big Proof" Holton's death, and AllHipHop.com reached out to some of the people that worked with Proof directly during their careers, who toured with the self-proclaimed funny guy and comedian, and those that overall just enjoyed his presence.
The following statements come from Proof's former D12 bandmates and longtime friends, Mr. Porter and Kuniva:
I choose to not celebrate this day, because it's the day I hate the most. I don't want to remember the day I lost him!!! I celebrate his b-day!! Ultimately, people say a lot of things about this day, and I understand we all mourn and deal differently!! But his kids are missing their dad, and thank God they have strong moms in their lives. I'm thankful for that! I pray I can have a strong mom for my kids and have kids as great as his one day! They are the true hurt ones [more] than everyone else. I miss him and see what he has done for many people, including me, everyday! He is iconic! My Brother is an everyday inspiration. I hope to be as great as him!! -Mr. Porter
"The loss of Proof was a devastating blow to not only his family and D12, but to the city of Detroit and Hip-Hop as a whole. He was the heartbeat of the city and will NEVER be forgotten. People say don't celebrate the death day of Proof, but I use that day to celebrate his life, his legacy, and what he taught me. Right now, D12 is in a place where we're finding ourselves. Venturing off like we always said we would when we first started this. We have just grown as artists and needed to leave the nest and fly. Need to do my own thing, but I'll always be IN D12. We've made record selling history in only two albums. One thing is for sure, WE ARE NOT DONE." -Kuniva
Proof was street for real. Always showed love for him on tour; there was nothing but groupies, drinks, laughs, smoke and a whole bunch of Detroit crazy niggas. On the '05 Anger Management tour, we would have the biggest dice game of cee-lo, NY vs Detroit, or hitting clubs in the D like 100 deep. He was a different type of gangsta who always had jokes on the road and always held it down if there was drama. Proof's gone but not forgotten... The thing that hit me the most is my parole officer wouldn't let me go to his funeral. -Tony Yayo
There will be a benefit concert tonight at St. Andrews, exactly six years to the day that the 32-year-old Detroit native was gunned down. Performers set to take the stage tonight include Obie Trice, Supa Emcee, Stretch Money, Killa Kaun and members from the Proof-founded label, Iron Fist Records.
Be sure to read staff writer Biba Adams' 2006 editorial on the loss of Proof, "Thoughts On My Beloved (R.I.P. Proof)" to honor the memory of one of Hip-Hop's fallen stars.