According to DEA informants, iconic New Orleans music label, Cash Money Records, was helped off the ground in 1991 with a cash infusion provided by Crescent City drug lord George (Cup) Hankton, the slain older first cousin of incarcerated Big Easy kingpin “Wild Telly” Hankton, currently on trial for racketeering and murder in federal court in Louisiana. Cup Hankton ruled the New Orleans narcotics trade from his Hollygrove neighborhood for years prior to his murder in 2007 and mentored Wild Telly, nine years his junior, in the drug game.

Both Hanktons were good friends with Cash Money Records co-founders Bryan (Baby) Williams and Ronald (Slim) Williams – seen in the photo above -, per multiple DEA informants. Baby Williams and Cup Hankton were particularly close.

Wild Telly Hankton, 40, is in prison for killing the men he believed killed his cousin in a street war fought over drug territory. Hankton was indicted on additional racketeering and murder charges in the fall of 2012. When he was free and his cousin Cup was alive, the pair were often observed by law enforcement socializing with the Williams brothers in and around New Orleans and the Uptown district they all grew up in. Cup Hankton was arrested on two separate occasions for three separate gangland homicides, however in both cases, the charges were eventually thrown out.

The Hanktons began building their drug empire in the 1990s, quickly crafting reputations as the biggest and most-feared crime chiefs in the Big Easy. During this same time, Cash Money Records cemented its’ status at the cutting edge of the soon-to-be rampant Southern hip-hop trend. Universal acquired its’ distribution rights in 1998 for $30,000,000. The label’s roster has featured the likes of Lil’ Wayne, Juvenile, Drake and Nicky Minaj. Baby Williams performed under the name “Birdman” and teamed with in-house producer Mannie Fresh to form the platinum-selling rap duo the “Big Tymers.”

Former Cash Money Records artist B.G. (aka Christopher Dorsey) is serving prison time for illegal gun possession and is alleged to have been part of the Hankton organization. B.G. was pulled over in 2009 on the east side of New Orleans along with two other Hankton crew members driving in a stolen SUV and in possession of two stolen guns, ammunition and drugs. In 2012, he was sentenced to 14 years behind bars.

The Hankton crew started tussling with a rival street faction headed by New Orleans gangbangers Darnell (Durney) Stewart and Jesse (Tu Tu) Reed in the early 2000s. By 2007, it was all-out war. On December 7, 2007, 40-year old Cup Hankton was killed, gunned down in front of a carwash in the city’ Gert Town neighborhood. Stewart and Reed were arrested for the murder, but had the charges dropped before trial. Per DEA records, Wild Telly Hankton issued $50,000 murder contracts on Stewart and Reed, leaving the contract open for all takers until the spring of 2008 when he decided to take matters into his own hands.

Stewart lasted until May 13, 2008. After Wild Telly’s cousin and Cup Hankton’s brother, Andre (Reesie) Hankton intentionally struck Stewart with his Mustang outside Jazz Daiquiris, a New Orleans nightclub, Wild Telly beat Stewart unmercifully prior to shooting him four times at point blank range in the face. Reesie Hankton with Wild Telly riding shotgun in his Mustang had been chasing Stewart for blocks. Initially, Stewart was behind the wheel of his own car before crashing it into a dumpster and fleeing on foot.

Reed was picked off on June 20, 2009, shot more than 50 times as he stood on his porch talking to a friend. Hasan (Hockie) Williams, an associate of Reed’s, was watching from across the street when Reed was killed and identified Wild Telly Hankton and Hankton’s ace assassin Walter (Moonie) Porter (along with two others), as Reed’s murderers. Hankton had recently posted a one-million dollar bond in a first-degree homicide case filed against him in the Stewart hit.

Williams was slain two weeks later, allegedly by Porter, known for “double-fisting” his firearms in his hits. Porter, already locked up for an unrelated murder, is on trial with Hankton this summer. Hankton was convicted in the Stewart case in 2011.

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