Proof’s life, passion and death

Deshaun Holton was Detroit hip hop’s sunshine: hopefully the truth about the circumstances of his death will come to light soon.
I often have the feeling that Proof died for nothing on April the 11th at the infamous CCC club. The motive of the shooting, a ridiculous dispute over « the king of Detroit title » , makes me think that somebody was very eager to steal Big Proof his crown, during the night this horrible drama happened. Skills, success and talent make some people that envious that they might wish death on you.
Not only was Big Proof loved by his close friends circle, he was loved by most people who are into hip hop in Detroit. Worldwide, Deshaun Holton had a great fan base. Many people liked his music and still do. Not because he was Eminem’s best friend. Not because he was in the D12 group. No. People liked his own music and many of them respected Proof as a person.
Eminem, D12 and the Shady family are the persons who talk about Proof best.
Friends for life, torn apart by a bullet
In the XXL July issue, Eminem made some touching statements about his best friend. Marshall Mathers also revealed us his first meeting with the gifted emcee, back in 1989:
« I met Proof, I believe it was ‘89. I was with a friend passing out flyers, Goofy Gary. We were passing out flyers, and he was sitting on the steps of Osborn, on the Eastside of Detroit. I go to hand him a flyer, and he looks at it. I drew it myself and we were in this talent show, and he was like « You rap? ». And I was like « Yeah, I rap. ». And he goes, « You’re the only white person that’s standing around here, coming to an all Black school talking about you rap. » He thought it was funny, but he was being cool about it. »
This was the very start of the solid friendship that would unite Marshall Mathers and Deshaun Holton. Both men would soon get deeper into their passion for rhyming.
Proof and his other D12 fellows have always been family to each other. Much more than the passion for the music, the talented emcees were real life friends.
Proof’s murder has hit them all very hard. Nobody is ever gonna replace the valuable lyrical soldier Proof used to be.
The group already lost Bugz in 1999. Tragically, history repeated itself in 2006.
A lot of people from the Shady family like Obie Trice, people from Proof’s label Iron Fist have expressed their love for Proof in very touching words.
The whole hip hop community is bleeding as well, since Proof passed away.
He was talented, he was unique in the game and nobody will ever replace him. He was real and touching.
Proof’s murder is an awful drama. A certain kind of press has put some dirt on Deshaun Holton’s name, calling him a « bad man » and a « murderer ». Most of that hatred was canalized by people who had a bad knowledge of hip hop culture and who prompted to conclusions, based on the Bender clan’s only statements.
Other low key haters actually come from the Detroit underground scene. Those little, pitiful emcees with no name (I don’t intend to name their names, since I don’t want to give them the attention they are so desperate for) are actually jealous of the level of success Proof reached. Those auto proclaimed, illegitimate and fake « kings » made some hateful comments surrounding Deshaun Holton’s death. (I’m flipping the bird at them nobodies anyway! You know who you are.)
It looks like some people are unable to show the dead a minimum of respect that is due to them.
« Fiat lux »
I want the whole truth to shine about Proof’s murder and I am not the only one.
I have been talking to emcees from Detroit who wish exactly the same.
On April the 11 th, 2006, not only has a man’s life been taken, a brilliant artist’s career has also been cut short.
The Bender clan’s version has been made public. However, be sure that what they said ain’t gospel. A lot of details surrounding Proof’s death remain in the shadow.
Eyewitnesses from Proof’s side insisted about staying anonymous. You probably ask yourselves why. Here you might have an answer to your question: the man who drove Proof to the hospital when he was fatally shot has been found dead a while ago.
I myself have been questioning homies from Detroit about more clues regarding this dark affair. Strange (yet unofficial) fact I got from the Detroit rap board: Deshaun Holton’s autopsy revealed that he had no gun powder on his hands.
So dear readers, let me ask you the following question: « how the hell could Deshaun Holton have shot Keith Bender if there was no powder on his hands? »
The statements made by an anonymous eyewitness in XXL seem to confirm what I always thought: there are great chances Proof has been coldly murdered by Mario Etheridge.
We know from his story that Keith Bender was the first to start some shit and to punch Proof.
The press first reported that Proof had been shot in the head twice and in the stomach. The anonymous eyewitness’ story tends to prove that Proof was cowardly shot in his back, not in the stomach.
« Mario Etheridge came over and started shooting. From there, he may or may not have shot his own cousin in the midst of the shooting. Proof was shot in his back. They both fell down. »
Whatever might have happened between Keith Bender and Deshaun Holton, Mario should have called 911 instead of shooting blindly.
Today I’d like to point my finger at the man who murdered Deshaun Holton and who doesn’t even face murder charges for his actions.
This man wasn’t in a legitimate defense case in my opinion: he murdered a man who, having lost his life, is unable to defend himself.
Readers who want to know more about this story can read the anonymous comment that has been posted on the XXL website:
« Okay let me start off by saying I am not a admirer of Proof, Eminem or D12. So don’t think I’m some crazed fan who’s just making shit up. This is a murder not a game. I’m putting this out there because a man is getting away with murder.. Another man is being accused of murder and a family is being sued for something their son didn’t do. It’s just not fair at all. What you’ve all read and heard are different versions provided by Mario Entherige, his lawyer Mr. Upshaw and 6 witnesses who were also employees at club CCC and associates of Keith Bender (Notice how all this is coming from one side). But seriously, the way this story is being broadcast on T.V. and around the net is just ridiculous and beyond exaggerated!! Mario Entherige is the key player in this scenario. What I’m about to tell you is what exactly happened on April 11, 2006… »
Okay, proof knew Keith bender, so this just wasn’t some random stranger..
It was around 2:30am. Proof, Horny Mac, Gerald Gadie and another man came into the club. After a few drinks they decided to head over to the pool table where Keith bender, an unidentified man, Malcolm and Mario Entherige were playing pool. Keith, Mario and their crew were celebrating the good news of Keith’s health. Proof and his crew decided to join and put money down on the game. When proof started to lose, that’s when all hell broke loose. One of the guys accused Keith of cheating and demanded their money back. But they refused. After a few heated words, Proof and his crew got up to leave. While they were heading towards the exit, that’s when they ran into 2 lovely ladies. Proof and his crew went back in. Proof hollered at one girl and the other guy hollered at the other. I must say that Proof seemed a little drunk that night. He was wobbling back and forth and just laughing for no reason. Keith bumped into Proof and all I remember is Keith saying “get your drunk ass out the way” Proof said something, but I can’t remember exactly what it was. But anyways, Keith was complaining to the other guy about proof, saying that he was acting crazy..Proof went over and got up in Keith’s face. He said something like “you want this? Huh? Huh? you want some of this? huh *****?” Keith then punched proof and that’s when the 2 men started fighting..
Proof was beating the shit out of Keith to the point where his face was bruised up and his nose was bleeding. Mario came and saw proof getting the best of his cousin, so he pulled out his gun and fired 2 shots in the air…The two men stopped fighting. Keith went to the other side of the room to cool off and proof was moved near the bar. We was telling him to calm down. But then One of proof’s friends handed him a silver gun and that’s when proof went over to confront Mario about him pulling his gun out first. I remember Mario saying “I don’t care who you are”.. Keith knew how drunk Proof was, and that he was in no condition to be holding a loaded weapon. So to protect others, Keith came from behind and started attacking proof. He was trying to get the gun out of his hand.
At this time, we’re all thinking “okay this is about to get violent. They better be careful before that gun goes off”. While the 2 men were tussling, Keith finally got a hold of the gun. While they were still going at it, that’s when Mario came and just started shooting towards proof..Everybody’s panicking and loosing control
Proof was hit 4 times (twice in the head, once in the shoulder and once in his lower back) and Keith was hit once In the forehead. They both fell down. The truth is, one of Mario’s bullets hit Keith in the midst of the shooting. I know this for a fact because both him and proof fell down at the same time and proof’s gun was still in Keith’s hand. So there’s no way Proof could have shot this man..
After the shooting, Mario told his friend Shawn to take Keith to the hospital and that he’ll meet him there on the way. Mario quickly left the scene. Keith’s face was pretty fucked up. He was bleeding profusely from his wound. He was still alive, but was shaking uncontrollably, as if he was having a seizer. Proof on the other hand, was just laying there on his stomach in a pool of blood..Unfortunatley he died immediately after being shot. The news say he was shot outside of the club, but the truth is, he was really shot inside. The employees moved his body outside by the pole to make it look as if the fight started there.
There were 11 witnesses altogether. 3 were employees at ccc, 2 were friends of Keith bender, 3 were friends of proof, 1 was malcolm, 1 was a associate of Mario entherige and 2 was just random people..Is’nt it ironic that most of the witness where associates and co-workers of mario entherige?..but anyways, after the shooting, one of the employees, who I will refer to as “T”, locked everyone inside the club and wouldn’t let them leave until they all agreed on one story to tell the police. They did’nt want to call 911. Ins tead they wanted to place the shooting at a different Location. Those who didn’t want to participate, which included proof’s friend Gerald, left the scene. He’s the one that took proof to the hospital..
The Police said it themselves that they have in no way made any conclusions of who, why or how keith bender was shot.. The conclusions were made by the magazines, newspapers and media..The mistake they made in the articles was saying police said proof shot first, when really they should have said that’s what some of the witnesses claimed. These people were friends of Mario and Keith. They owned that night spot. So of course there not going to say “Mario was the Bad guy”. All the evidence was contaminated and all the blood was cleaned up. The truth is, Proof really died a little after 3:15am, but the employees didn’t call the cops until about 4:30am because they wanted to get everything together.. If a shooting occurs and a person dies, aren’t you suppose to call the cops right away? and if the cops aren’t called until like an hour later, then what does that tell you? Doesn’t that seem a little suspicious?. AND FOR EVERYONE WHO WANTS TO KNOW, YES THERE WERE CAMERAS!!! I’ve been to club ccc thousands of times and there was always a camera at the entrance and one near the bar. You can ask anybody who’s ever been to that club and they’ll tell you. These so-called witnesses tempered with the evidence to hide the truth..
People can live in fantasy land and believe the crazy ass media all they want to. But just know these 5 facts
1. Mario is no damn hero..Proof was murdered in cold blood, not self defense. He killed proof because proof was beating up his cousin real bad. He couldn’t take it like a man, so he decided to pull out a gun instead. Just like the countless people in Detroit, who’d rather use guns to solve all their petty problems
2. Mario’s irresponsible actions caused the death of DeShaun Holton and also caused the death of his own cousin, Keith Bender.
3. Proof, A dead man, is being accused of murder but without any weapons found, surveillance cameras or ballistic results? Come on now, how can people not smell something fishy about that? And also the fact that the story kept on changing. Isn’t it funny how the media already had 7 different versions of what happened in less than 2 weeks? Hmmmmmm
4. There’s no way Proof’s gun could have went off because Keith was still holding on to it.
When the ballistic test comes back, this will reveal everything. That’s where the truth lies: BALLISTICALLY
5. The only reason Mario turned himself in is because everyone knew he was the killer..He basically had no choice. And also, his uncle who is a police officer, suggested that he get himself a lawyer and do the right thing..and that’s exactly what he did…
This may seem very hard to believe, but before you start doubting, just remember this: ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE IN DETROIT. People get shot everyday for the stupidest reasons. Malcolm was almost killed last week, because according to his friends, he knew too much about the case. After going over this story numerous times and sharing it with others, We came to this conclusion:
Keith Bender was killed…Proof was murdered.
If your going to shoot a person, Don’t shoot them while their fighting your cousin, because most likely he’s going to get hit too »

I do pray with all my heart that light will be made on Proof’s case. Until then, the feeling that Deshaun Holton died for nothing will barely vanish from my mind.
Copyright © 2006 by Isabelle Esling
All Rights Reserved

7 thoughts on “Proof’s life, passion and death”

  1. that’s deep!!! man i have not read a well detailed account of what happened, like this one .full marks goes to isabelle. she surely is working hard. all i can say is that when all the wind and hype is gone, the dust will fall, then the truth will come together. apart from ballistict’s report yet to come, the bullets position& angle from mario, and also mario’s position to bender. it’s all there.god bless proof,s family (especially the kids&wife). keep-up the good work. keep searching you’ll find.

  2. Is,
    This story is amazing…the detailed account…words alone can not describe how i felt after i read this. your a genius…you did your homework.
    I wish the best for proof’s wife and kids and family…i couldn’t imagine going through the loss of a husband, father, son , friend…at such a young age. R.I.P Proof…you will never be forgotten…you will live in our hearts forever!!!

  3. Firstly let me say this is certainly an unfortunate affair, a talented young man (if not two?) being killed is a waste. I have a friend just like this, he could be termed a genius in many ways, but he drinks vast amounts and does not have the tolerance to be that nonchalant; my whole life (for the last 15 years anyway) I have been diffusing situations at clubs with him, his most recent scrape resulted in him being glassed in the face and attacked by 12+ people when I left his side to go to the toilet (apparently he had said something to a girl with her boyfriend), ironically enough he was in same hospital, in the A&E department, that his wife gave birth to his child. The accounts I hear of Proof remind me of him to a tee, they are both/were ticking time bombs. All I can advise to people who are sensitive to alcohol in that way is control your intake, but most of them are extroverted so never will – so watch your drunken homies backs like I have so far ok!

  4. Man..RIP Big Proof, sippin a can of Pennzoil!
    Much love to the D & Shady family..Proof was an amazing person & lyricist

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