‘If I was you, suicide would be a way of life. If you was me , you’d kill you.’ (Proof)
Before I start talking about D12’s gifted Mc Proof, I would like to thank and to give credit to the webmaster of the following Derty Harry website for the rare info I found about Deshaun Holton aka Derty Harry aka Proof:
Deshaun Holton aka Proof was born on October the 2nd 1975 in Detroit.
Although they didn’t attend the same High School, Eminem and Proof have been friends since 1988. They used to live in the same street in Detroit.
Proof used to go to Osbourne High school while Eminem was attending Lincoln High. Both friends used to skip high school in order to rap together: in fact Eminem skipped Lincoln High and used to come to Proof’s school very often, because both friends wanted to rap together. This is how they met:
‘I was skipping school, and he was skipping school also, passing out flyers for his concert he was having in Centerline. That had to be, like, ’88 or something.’ (Proof)
Some (white) underground Mcs from Detroit like Backstab the Kingpin are convinced of Proof’s racism. But Deshaun’s statements seem to prove the contrary.
CDNow has asked Proof how he felt about Eminem’s skin color at the time they met:
CDNow: Did you wonder what this blond, white kid was up to?
Proof: ‘You know, I went to Catholic school and had a great, great friend of mine who happened to be Irish; we were best friends since the sixth grade. So when I saw [Eminem] was white, I didn’t even jump off like that; when he rapped, he was dope. What made us get dope and become great friends was we both rhymed “first place” and “birthday,” and we’ve been tight ever since [laughs].’
Eminem and Proof have been real friends since the beginning. When Eminem was kicked out of his home, he would sleep at Proof’s house.
It is well known that Proof is an amazing freestyler.He won the freestyling competition in the Source magazine in 1999. He his a better freestyler than Marshall, but Marshall’s force is in the way he handles his words in his lyrics. That’s exactly what Proof states about their complementary talent:
‘We were both impressed with each other. The advantage I’ve got over Em is freestyling; I’m the kind of guy who freestyles off the head, right? The advantage he had over me was that he knew how to write intricately; he knew how to put a song together and bring feelings about. That’s why I journeyed under him, like, “Yo, show me the ropes, homeboy.”
The idea of the D12 group composed of talented MCs and sick aliases with popped into Proof’s mind:
“I was in New York; I had this deal with Tommy Boy that didn’t work out, unfortunately. But I just had this idea that we could put together a team of dope MCs, put a lot of Detroit on as far as having MCs with skills. Everybody’s solo took so we’ll make aliases, like Eminem’s Slim Shady and I’m Derty Harry, and call it the Dirty Dozen — and at this time, to be honest with you, we thought The Dirty Dozen was a Western movie; we didn’t know it was an army movie [laughs].
That fits us, army rather than Western, ’cause we see ourselves more as gun-slingers, lyric-slingers. Then the idea was to form a pact whereas this team, whoever gets out first comes back and gets the rest of the group.”
Proof has always been confident in Eminem’s loyalty, even if some other members of the group may have been worried:
‘Not me; I’ve been there since day one, almost. I think the rest of the group may not have been there, but Proof has been beside Eminem all this time. I play a leadership role in the group, where I talk to everyone else; Em is like the president, and I’m the general. I talk to the rest of the fellas and put ’em in line and show ’em the direction. It’s a family, too, so there’ll be a lot of fighting and bickering, and some people might have felt it might not be the way it should be. So, yes, there were times when people felt funny about things. But now everybody thinks back to that, and we were tripping out over nothing.’
Acccording to Proof, Eminem’s success was the best thing that could have happened to D12:
Right. Some people look at us like, “You’re gonna be Eminem’s group. You’re gonna be in his shadow.” They don’t realize how positive and great that is to hear; if you’re in the shadow of a guy who can sell almost 10 million records in just the states alone, great. That’s not a dis to us. But when they hear the album, they hear the individuality of each person, how everybody holds their own.
It is so true that each D12 emcee has his own talent and ability to rap.
It is less known that Proof’s first stage name was ‘Maximum’. Proof has always been appreciated in Detroit for his raps and his freestyling qualities. He changed his nickname when people started calling him ‘Living Proof’, because in many people’s minds, Proof was the ‘living proof of the living MCs in Detroit”.
Proof has collaborated and still collaborates with numerous artists such as Dogmatic.
Proof’s first released Cd was called ‘From Death’ and was co-produced with Da Goon Squad.
He has released a CD called ‘Promatic’ with Dogmatic and a six Track solo EP called ‘The Search For Jerry Garcia’.
As well as for Eminem, Detroit has been very influencial to Proof who describes his hometown as ‘the type of place where eye contact can get you killed’ and also as ‘ a city where the sun never shines, full of pot holes, snow and con artists ready to jack everything you got’.