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Searching for Jerry Garcia

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Album Review

His D12 brother Bizarre may be just crazy, but Proof is crazy like a fox. Many of the tracks on his proper debut offer vivid descriptions of inner-turmoil that would make any backpacker happy, but there's often a grotesque sting of the tail slipped in somewhere that's one part humorous, one part creepy. Mixtape mavens that seek out everything Eminem or Detroit could have told you this, but on D12 albums and his work with Slim Shady, Proof goes for the knockout punch and doesn't flesh out his character enough to consider him a true player. The oddly titled Searching for Jerry Garcia proves he's a lot more versatile than expected. Running over an hour, the album never bores or tries the patience. Skits and interludes are purposeful and join together a varied set of numbers that lesser efforts would tangle. There are club tracks, thug tracks, and a guest list that goes from MC Breed to 50 Cent, but the lyrically gifted Proof is always at the center, always the heart. The infectious thumper "Gurls Wit da Boom," the horn-filled, Kanye-influenced "Clap Wit Me," and the G-Unit-flavored "Forgive Me" are obvious standouts, but SFJG goes that extra mile and adds some challenging, introspective numbers that grow with each listen. "No. T. Lose" with Detroit legend King Gordy balances on its rickety beat but never falls off while the closing, word-filled monologue "Kurt Kobain" finally ties the music to the album's title and artwork. The CD's booklet is obsessed with dead rock stars and shows Proof burning down Detroit's holiest of music landmarks — Motown's Hitsville U.S.A. building — while waxing poetic about the city's lesser-known landmark, the Hip-Hop Shop. Who knows what they were getting at, but even on an album that features a D12 track (and a track with Purple Gang, who are D12 in training), it's the most D12 moment on this entirely Proof-centric album. He could've played it safe and used his superstar pedigree as a crutch. Instead, Searching for Jerry Garcia cracks the rapper's head wide open, lets everyone peek inside, and takes a wrecking ball to the idea he's just another member of Eminem's extended posse.

Customer Reviews


If only he was alive. He was amazing.

R.I.P. Big Proof

I'm so glad iTunes finally put this album up. He was such a great MC and freestyler. This is just a taste of the loss Proof's death was and is to music. Artful, skillful, and contemplative - this album is a testament to this man's rising career and life. If you bought this album when it was first released or bootlegged it, let's (re)buy this album to honor his memory.

R.I.P. ~ DeShaun Holton, a.k.a. MC Big Proof

Amazing and tragic album

It seems as if Biggie and Pac knew they were gonna die (Biggie had his posthumous album named Life After Death and Tupac had referred to his death for a long time in his songs. Here, Proof does the same. This album is largely about death. It has songs named after celebrities' deaths (Kurt Cobain for example) and it is depressing in so many ways because less than a year after this album was made, in april 2006 Proof met his Lord after being shot in the head at a Detroit bar. Listen to songs such as Forgive Me. This song sent chills down my spine. This is an overall superb album and its a tragedy that such a great man and great rapper would be taken away from us years before his potential could be fully reached. It is little known that Proof was recognized before Slim Shady. He was Marshall Mathers's best friend and he helped him to become the Eminem we know today. He also was the driving force between D12, which is why the crew has not done much since Proof's death. Proof was a loyal friend, a father, and a soul taken too soon. Not to mention a top rapper of all time. Underrated as rappers such as Obie Trice, Redman, and Tech N9ne. RIP Doody.


Born: October 2, 1973 in Detroit, MI

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Though Proof never enjoyed much national prominence beyond his membership in D12, the rapper was a pivotal figure within Detroit, energizing the local hip-hop scene in the years predating his unfortunate death in 2006 at age 32. Born DeShaun Holton, Proof was undoubtedly best known for his close relationship with Eminem. The two Detroit rappers were not only part of D12 -- the six-man group that initiated Eminem's rise -- but were best friends, their friendship going all the way back to high school....
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Searching for Jerry Garcia, Proof
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Customer Ratings