By noon Tuesday hundreds of mourners had already walked down the aisle of Fellowship Chapel to get a glimpse of the rapper Proof, who was killed last week in a shooting at an after-hours nightclub.
The rapper, legal name Deshaun Holton, was in a gold-toned open casket, dressed in brown-and-tan athletic wear and his signature Kangol cap â€” the same kind of outfit he’d wear in music videos or around town. A No. 1 Chauncey Billups Detroit Pistons jersey, autographed by several players, was draped over his body.
He was surrounded by a huge collection of floral arrangements, including some sent by Geffen Records and Interscope Records, the latter label being the home of rap group D12, which included Proof and best pal Eminem as members.
Detroit Police were a heavy presence inside and outside the church, with about a dozen cops, plus other private security, in the vicinity. Police had said the security was necessary because of Proof’s fame.
A mixture of old and young, white and black â€” some in T-shirts with Proof’s likeness airbrushed on them, some in three-piece suits â€” congregated outside the church on Detroit’s west side, giving hugs, breaking down and consoling each other after viewing their friend, family member or favorite rapper.
â€œIt doesn’t seem real, said Marvwon of the Detroit rap group Fat Killahz. â€œHe was Superman. How do you kill Superman?â€
The viewing was scheduled to run through 9 p.m. Tuesday at Fellowship Chapel, 7707 W. Outer Drive. The funeral will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the same church.