Tuesday, April 11, 2006

More stupidity in the Shadow of Motown:
As many people know by now, rapper Proof, of D-12, was shot and killed at Club Triple-C on Detroit’s Northeast side. It happened Tuesday, April 11, 2006, around 4:00 a.m. Club Triple-C was an unsanctioned ‘after-hours’ nightclub- you know, the type where you have to have the ‘password’ to get through, plenty of baller/hustler types and there’s little professional security and little or no police presence—at least, no on-duty police presence. During the past couple of years, some other local rappers have been killed: Wipeout, and Blade-Icewood (of the Chedda Boyz). As recently as a few months ago, Obie Trice got tagged in the head during a highway shooting (!); there’s still a bullet lodged in his skull. At the moment, details are still sketchy as to exactly what happened that led to the shooting—early on, police were reporting that another man was killed along with proof—however, the hospital where the 2nd victim is at reports that he is in critical condition—if he ever comes to, hopefully he’ll shine some light on things—but I wouldn’t bet the house on it.

Between the ‘no-snitching’ culture and the relative ineptitude of Detroit’s Flimsiest—I mean, Detroit’s Finest—I personally doubt that the killer(s) will be brought to justice any time soon, if ever. During Super Bowl weekend, there was a fatal shooting outside a bar less than a mile away from Ford Field. Currently no real leads, unsolved. In 2004, during Detroit’s Fourth of July fireworks display, a gunman unloaded at random in the crowd— a man was arrested days later—but was set free when apparently the sole witness who saw him up close (and was shot and ended up in a coma for a week for their trouble) didn’t recognize the suspect once they woke up. Currently? No new leads, no new arrests. Just this past Friday, a six-year-old boy called 911 when his mother passed out in the home—the dispatcher felt it was a prank and was dismissive, and hung up—the mother ended up dying. A lawsuit is pending.

God bless the dead and no disrespect to Proof—but rap folk in general need to rethink their priorities and lifestyles, especially the whole thing of ‘being true to the streets’. Being true to the streets doesn’t mean you have to be on the corner playing dice with the same clowns you used to get locked up in juvie with. Being true to the streets doesn’t mean you look at a rap sheet as the ghetto equivalent of college, with the most convicted dudes/lifers having the equivalent of PHD’s (Penitentiary-Hell-Destruction) program. Granted, violent attacks can happen to ‘anybody’, but especially with rap personalities, it’s even more of a danger with any number of rap cliques seeing themselves as semi-gangbangers who ‘run the streets’ instead of colleagues. It’s even more disheartening since Detroit was one of the last major urban enclaves to finally get the national hip-hop spotlight. Regardless of how much respect you carry in general, there’s always going to be at least one lunatic, who doesn’t give a damn; liquored up, weeded out, with a strap tucked away. Ironically, Obie has a new single out, "No Snitches" featuring Akon—in fact, the pair perform the song on CSI: Miami this week. So I wonder—Obie wasn’t there at the club when this happened—but if he was—would he ‘snitch’ to bring his friend’s killer to justice? Or would he just file it under ‘street life’ and forget about it? Meanwhile, the ‘no/stop snitching’ T-shirts proliferate in the suburban shopping malls and urban storefronts.

There will no doubt be plenty of Proof "In Memory of" T-shirts printed with a swiftness and sold throughout the area-- more 'Proof' that death is quite profitable... and to ask the average mourner, they'd probably say he "kept it real".. but if asked, should the people who saw Proof's killer identify them, you'd probably get mixed reactions at best.. It’s barely been two months since Jay Dee/J-Dilla of Slum Village passed away from a rare blood disease. The Thug Wars mentality is a social disease; it’s way past time that urban culture starts to deal with it constructively as more young lives are snuffed out. So for the folks out there who will be climbing fences to see Eminem at the funeral, just something to think about..