Music insiders have long speculated about the widespread impacts of an ongoing feud between two Baton Rouge rappers and their associates. 

Some of those rumors were confirmed Friday when Baton Rouge police announced that an associate of NBA YoungBoy has been arrested in the 2017 shooting death of Gee Money, 22. The two rappers grew up together in Baton Rouge and both gained national recognition for their music, though one would have his career cut short while the other has continued to perform. 

Deandre Fields, 24, of New Roads, is now accused of killing Gee Money, whose real name was Garrett Burton, in September 2017. Baton Rouge police spokesman Sgt. L'Jean McKneely Jr. said Fields was arrested Friday and faces one count of second-degree murder — almost two years after the shooting that left Burton dead in a parking lot outside his music studio on Dallas Drive. 

The arrest comes less than a month after the deadly shootout in Miami involving NBA YoungBoy's entourage. Authorities are investigating whether that incident is also tied to the longstanding feud. 

Fields' arrest warrant sheds light on what started the beef: Burton released "a song that contained derogatory lyrics" about NBA YoungBoy's sister. NBA YoungBoy, whose real name is Kentrell Gaulden, responded with a social media post and then the dissing escalated from there.

Burton said in an August 2017 interview with the blog SayCheeseTV that Gaulden had "got the big head" after some success and the two probably would never make music together in part because of the drama involving Gaulden's sister. Burton also acknowledged in the interview that sometimes rappers seek out criminal activity to gain attention from fans. He was killed the following month.

"In the days prior to Burton's death, both Burton and Gaulden made several social media posts about one another, which further exacerbated tensions between the two rival rap music groups," detectives wrote in the warrant. "When Burton was killed, members of the NBA group were immediately developed as suspects due to … the ongoing rap music feud." 

Police interviewed Fields on Sept. 13, 2017 — three days after Burton's death — and he recounted telling his mother to leave their home because "he feared retaliation." He said he left Baton Rouge with his mother and son and went to New Roads after Burton was killed. 

He also told detectives he drove to Hammond "to get gas" on the night of Sept. 10, 2017, according to the warrant. Detectives later obtained Fields' phone records, which showed he was not in Hammond the night of Burton's death, but was actually in Baton Rouge. 

When police asked Fields who among his friends would would shoot people for the NBA group, he replied: "To be honest, me." He also referred to "problems in the streets."

Detectives found shell casings about one month later on Jefferson Avenue that matched those collected at the scene of Burton's death, according to the warrant. Authorities believe Fields "arranged to rid himself of the firearm that killed Garrett Burton" by giving it to another group of people who live on Jefferson Avenue. Fields's phone records indicate he called members of that group in the hours after Burton's death. 

Gun violence has continued to follow members of both Burton's and Gaulden's parties, though authorities haven't pointed to explicit connections between the shootings, and several cases remain unsolved. 

Gaulden's agent, Desmond "Dump" Hardnett, was shot and killed in May 2018. No suspects have been identified in that case.

Then another local rapper, Blvd Quick, was shot to death just months later in November 2018. Authorities have said they're investigating whether he was targeted because of his affiliation with Burton. Both were members of TBG Gorilla Gang, which is also the name of their record label. 

Gaulden, 19, is now being held in East Baton Rouge jail while authorities probe whether he's the man seen in a social media video making violent threats, which would constitute a violation of his probation conditions in a 2016 nonfatal shooting case.

The judge's decision to have him detained came several days after the shooting outside a Miami hotel that involved Gaulden and his girlfriend, who was shot in the shoulder. Authorities said gunmen opened fire on Gaulden's group and legally armed members of his entourage returned fire, resulting in the death of a bystander — a Hertz rental car employee who was leaving work on Mother's Day when he got caught in the crossfire.

The same judge will decide at a June 21 hearing whether to revoke Gaulden's probation in the 2016 shooting, which would send him to prison for 10 years.


Follow Lea Skene on Twitter, @lea_skene.