Proof’s friends tell The Associated Press his allegiance to the ghettos of his hometown, and his willingness to partake in dangerous situations, grew even as his success afforded him other options. “These guys have to be out there, in some of the worst and wildest places,” said Detroit entertainment executive Mark Hicks, who once managed Proof and D-12. “That’s where their hardcore audience is. Most of the guys who are hot resonate in the streets. And it’s also where they will run into a lot of trouble. So in rap, just doing what it takes to be well-known puts you at risk.”
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