There was no bigger spokesperson for Detroit
hip-hop than the late DeShaun Holton aka Proof
. Tonight in Los Angeles, a benefit
will be held in Holton's memory at the Highlands nightclub in Hollywood with some of the best in Motor City and L.A. hip-hop scheduled to be in attendance, including: Dilated Peoples
, Strong Arm Steady
, Ras Kass
, Oh No
, Jurassic 5
's Chali 2na and more.
From his beginnings as a standout battle rapper and host of local MC competitions to the founding of the group D12
and longtime friendship with Eminem
, Holton – slain in an altercation at a Detroit nightclub in April of 2006 – was arguably the most important figure in the history of Detroit's hip-hop scene. In a community that included not only Eminem, but J Dilla
and Slum Village
plus countless others, Proof was the glue, and the voice of unity and self-preservation.
"Proof, he loved people, and people loved him," said Eminem at Holton's funeral. "He was just a people magnet. When you first met him, you wanted to know more about him. Without Proof, there would be no Eminem, no Slim Shady and no D12."
"Proof was mad that I was moving to Los Angeles," wrote current Detroit hip-hop ambassador DJ House Shoes on Twitter this past weekend. "He was getting ready to move to Phoenix and knew that without either of us there [Detroit], the scene and city would suffer. A few weeks later he was gone. The city stopped for a long time. Honestly, [it] just really started moving again. But we still got a lot of f---ing work to do. We owe him that."
The $15 door charge for the 'Remembering Proof' benefit will go to Holton's surviving family, which include his mother, wife, and five children. Donations to the Proof Foundation can be sent by check or money order to 22967 Woodward Avenue #209, Ferndale, Michigan, 48220.