DeShaun Dupree Holton (October 2, 1973 – April 11, 2006), known professionally as Proof, was an American rapper and actor from Detroit, Michigan. During his career, he was a member of the groups 5 Elementz, Funky Cowboys, Promatic, Goon Sqwad, and D12. He was a close childhood friend of rapper Eminem, who lived in the same neighborhood. Proof was often a hype man at Eminem's concerts.
DeShaun Dupree Holton was born to Sharallene "Pepper" Holton, a single mother. His father, McKinley Jackson, was a music producer who left to pursue his career prior to Holton's birth. He was close friends with Eminem from a young age.
Originally known as Maximum, under the moniker "Proof", Holton first rose to national prominence as a part of the rap group D12, a hip-hop group he was instrumental in forming. Early individual accomplishments include being featured in The Source's "Unsigned Hype" column in 1999 and nearly winning the 1998 Blaze Battle. His first television appearance was in the video for Aaliyah's "Age Ain't Nothing But a Number". In 2000, Proof toured with Eminem, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, and Snoop Dogg in the Up In Smoke Tour, performing as a hype man for Eminem. He gained further exposure in 2001 with the release of Devil's Night, D12's debut album on Interscope Records. The following year, Proof collaborated with Dogmatic on "Promatic" and joined Eminem's "Anger Management" tour in support of the release. He appeared in the film 8 Mile along with Eminem and Xzibit. Proof appeared as Lil' Tic, a freestyle rapper who rap battles the lead character, B-Rabbit, played by Eminem. To capitalize on the publicity from the film, Proof released a six-song EP called Electric CoolAid: Acid Testing. Proof also starred in a cameo role, alongside the rest of D12 (except for Eminem), in The Longest Yard, appearing as "Basketball Convicts" during the credits.