On April 11th, 2006, hip-hop was shocked to learn that Big Proof had been fatally shot in his home city of Detroit, Michigan. The tragic news sent a ripple throughout the local scene, as Proof was among the D’s most influential leaders on a variety of levels; without him, it’s entirely possible that Eminem wouldn’t be where he is today. While many have become familiar with Proof’s work on the D12 albums Devil’s Night and D12 World, as well as his own solo debut Searching For Jerry Garcia, many fans still look fondly on his 2005 mixtape Grown Man Shit, hosted by DJ Salam Wreck.
One of the project’s highlights arrives by way of the penultimate track “Oil Can Harry,” a dark banger that eventually went on to be repurposed as a tribute on Eminem’s Shady Records compilation album The Re-Up. In its original state, “Oil Can Harry” features an additional verse from Big Proof, who rides Em’s glitchy and menacing production with a feral flow; something about his gravelly cadence seems to suggest madness lurking beneath the surface, one that complements his fearless nature quite nicely. “Real as this gun on my waistline, at war we don’t waste time,” he warns. “Ja, man, he can’t take a punch and 50 can take nine.”
Check out this lesser-known track from Big Proof right now, and sound off – do you still have love for the Detroit legend? Rest in peace DeShaun Holton.
I’m a man, I’m holding my ground, unloading these rounds
At any clown approachin’ my crown
I’ma keep it grimy, nothin’ but killas seen behind me
I’ma bully fully cause your team is tiny
If I was to crush you, God can’t save you, Bibles are nothin’
This rifle I’m clutchin’ to leave you stifled on crutches