Although Proof first rose to national prominence as a part of the rap group D12, he had been quite successful on his own. Most notably, he was featured in The Source's Unsigned Hype column in 1999 and came close to winning the 1998 Blaze Battle. His first television appearance can be seen in the Aaliyah video "Age Ain't Nothing But a Number". He rose to prominence in 2001 with the release of Devil's Night, D12's debut album with Interscope Records. The following year, Proof collaborated with Dogmatic on Promatic and joined Eminem's "Anger Management" tour in support of the release. He also appeared in Eminem's semi-autobiographical film 8 Mile ; although in the film the character based on him, Future, was portrayed by Mekhi Phifer, he appeared as Lil' Tic, a freestyle rapper who trounces the lead character with his battle verse.
To capitalize on the publicity from the film, Proof released a six-song EP called Electric CoolAid: Acid Testing. Proof also had a cameo along side the rest of an Eminem-less D12 in The Longest Yard appearing as "Basketball Convicts" in the credits.
Originally, every song title on the album was to be named after a celebrity. "Jump Biatch" was originally titled "Eric Clapton Jr." (Proof changed the title when he realized that Eric Clapton's son fell to his death from a 53rd-story window. ) Another song presumably meant for the album was " Neil Armstrong", which can be found on Proof's mixtape " I Miss The Hip Hop Shop ".
Proof has said that he considered Jerry Garcia to be a "genius" who suffered from character flaws that are indicative of all people. Proof has stated his admiration for Garcia's eclectic style, saying that Garcia "went against the grain". The album received favorable reviews, which commented on its "eclectic" and "introspective" nature.
The last song Proof recorded was with Detroit Horrorcore rap group Twiztid for their album Independent's Day called "How I Live". The track was recorded only weeks before his untimely death and on the night Proof passed he was finalizing a deal to go on tour with the group. The Tour and collaboration were a means by Proof to unite Detroit's rap scene as Proof in the song states that the two groups ( Psychopathic Records & D12 ) "bury the hatchet" and were working together.
On April 11, 2006 , Proof was killed by a gunshot wound to the head at the CCC Club by Mario Etheridge on 8 Mile Road in Detroit , Michigan after fatally shooting U.S. military veteran Keith Bender Jr.
It is also believed that following a dispute over a pool game,between Proof & Bender. According to the coroner, Proof had a blood alcohol content of 0.32. Proof was then shot by the bouncer Mario Etheridge, Bender's cousin. He was then taken by private vehicle to St. John Health's Conner Creek Campus, an outpatient emergency treatment site, and pronounced dead shortly thereafter.
Bender's family began a wrongful-death suit against Proof's estate. During the course of this suit, and in a subsequent magazine article, an alternative description of events emerged.
An XXL article that interviews Mudd (a friend of Proof who allegedly witnessed the shooting) offers an alternative viewpoint to the media reports.
Mudd claims the shooting was done by Mario Etheridge, who initially discharged his weapon into the air to break up a fist fight between Proof and Bender. Proof responded in kind, wrestling Mudd's weapon from him and likewise discharging the weapon into the air. As he fired, Proof was tackled by Bender and the two began to fight on the ground.
Etheridge then fired repeatedly at the pair on the ground, killing them both, Mudd further alleges that the initial testimony of Proof firing first were corroborated by Etheridge's companions to keep him (Etheridge) out of jail.Whether or not this is true is debatable, however this is the testimony that Mudd presented under oath at the wrongful-death suit brought against Proof's estate.
When quizzed as to why he had not brought any of this information to light before the trial, Mudd responded that he feared retaliation.
Proof was buried on April 19 at Woodlawn Cemetery, in Detroit to a full house of 2,000 with thousands mourning outside. Eminem and Obie Trice read eulogies at the service.
DISCOGRAPHY (Typed By Proof Himself)
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