DETROIT, MI Monday Apr.17.2006 / -- Eminem released a statement on his web site last Thursday reacting to the death of his best friend, D12 rapper Proof.

"You don't know where to begin when you lose somebody who's been such a big part of your life for so long," Eminem wrote. "Proof and I were brothers. He pushed me to become who I am. Without Proof's guidance and encouragement there would have been a Marshall Mathers, but probably not an Eminem and certainly never a Slim Shady."

Emimem continued, "Not a day will go by without his spirit and influence around us all. He will be missed as a friend, father and both the heart and ambassador of Detroit hip-hop."

Eminem added that he wanted to remember Proof for "the way he lived."

"Right now, there's a lot of people focusing on the way he died," said Eminem. "I want to remember the way he lived. Proof was funny, he was smart, he was charming. He inspired everyone around him. He can never, ever be replaced. He was, and always will be, my best friend."

Proof, also known as DeShaun Holton, was shot and killed last week in Detroit.

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