Rating: 5 stars *****
From 2003 to 2005, Proof made us wait for his searching for Jerry Garcia LP. During this two year quest for talented guitarist Jerry Garcia, he has kept working hard on two jewels, two mixtapes: I Miss The Hip Hop Shop and Grown Man Shit. He has developed a style of his own. Deshaun Holton is a perfectionist who comes up with an brand new explosive album.
Detroit is in the house! Besides very interesting artistic collaborations like B-Real of Cypress Hill and Methodman, Proof hasn't forgotten about his hometown (many Detroit talents like Obie Trice, BR Gunna, First Born of purple Gang, King Gordy, J Hill, and many more have contributed to Searching For Jerry Garcia.)
The first track called Knice brings us back to the atmosphere of DJ Knice's Detroit Hip Hop Awards at St Andrews.
From the very beginning to the end, you can feel Proof's realness. He's the kind of man who won't let money corrupt his real me. True to the local scene, Proof expresses his love for his homies during the whole CD.
Clap With Me is mixed with rich musical themes that are announced in Grown Man Shit and makes you feel Proof on the run, always trying to be – better than best.
Proof's album has not been made for oversensitive souls: the better Proof gets in his artistic inspiration, the darker his themes. Death, suicide, invitations to suicide are numerous on the album.
Proof mentions the murder of John Lennon and Kurt Kobain's suicide. By mentioning Jerry Garcia and icons like John Lennon and Kurt Kobain, Proof's constant quest for real artists is constant. Contrary to a common opinion, a real and talented artist is a rare thing. So many so called “artists” have nothing to offer to their public but some weak commercial music: obviously they are just the product of the music industry. Unfortunately, they have no artistry and originality of their own to offer.
Proof is totally right about it:
It's exactly that, they were icons within the music industry. The biggest things about those guys are that they were artists. Today in the industry, man, you get a lot of the artists who duplicate what is already out there. They make it like everyone is manufactured as a product; They don't even want to be an artist no more.
The second thing is that a real artist never exists only by himself. If you have a look at any great artist, he has always been inspired by other past and contemporary great artists. The concept of an 'artist' never excludes the concept of the fan. A real artist is also a fan, a music lover. Proof has never stopped being a fan: a fan of international artists and a fan of the local Detroit scene. You can see him on MTV and freestyling in his hometown afterwards as well.
Track Nr 3, Bilboa Theme reminds us of Proof's constant quest for the talented guitarist Jerry Garcia actually was.
Proof's album might explore the darkest themes, it also offers the attentive listener more insight about Deshaun's sensitive side. On track Nr5, Forgive Me in collaboration with 50 Cent, Proof asks God for forgiveness for his words and actions. It explains his dysfunctional family and his quick temper, his mistakes. Sounds of violin mixed up with piano sounds and rapid beats will make your heart melt in no time. Flashback to the time Bugz was still alive and words of love and recognition addressed to his long time friend Marshall … pure emotions. Proof pours his heart out.
Track 6 in collaboration with Detroit group Purple Gang is more offensive and aimed at Proof's enemies who keep running their mouth.
Among Proof's most valuable tracks, I'd highly recommend High Rollers featuring B-Real and Methodman, Pimplikeness featuring D12 (Eminem is present on the track too), 72nd & Central featuring Obie Trice and J-Hill. Also, Don't miss track Nr20, Kurt Kobain, an excellent and dark Goodbye track in which Proofs applies to his well known quote: "If I was you, suicide would be a way of life. If you was me, you'd kill you. " A touching ode to suicide that won't leave the listener indifferent.
Drugs and hoes are part of Derty Harry's universe. The streets of Detroit are represented from the beginning to the end. Deshaun Holton has shown his full integrity as an artist. His realness is touching. If you love pure hip hop, you gonna love this album.
The musical background of Searching For Jerry Garcia is rich. Proof is always in search of new sounds and new techniques. Violons, piano, guitar, keyboard sounds, xylophones and many other instruments will make you appreciate the masterpiece Searching For Jerry Garcia actually is. Searching For Jerry Garcia deserves 5 stars. Check it out: it is really worth your interest.
Copyright © 2005 by Isabelle Esling
All Rights Reserved