Gee Money, born Gerald Woodley in 1969, was an American drug dealer and rapper associated with the Cash Money Brothers and Cash Money Records in New Orleans, Louisiana. He was shot and killed in his hometown on September 19, 2005 at the age of 36. The identity of the shooter and exact location of his murder have been disputed over the years.
Who was Gee Money?
Gee Money was an American drug dealer and rapper from New Orleans, Louisiana. He was associated with the Cash Money Brothers and Cash Money Records.
When and where was Gee Money killed?
Gee Money was shot and killed on September 19, 2005 in New Orleans, Louisiana. He was 36 years old.
What’s disputed about his murder?
The identity of Gee Money’s shooter has been disputed over the years. Additionally, there is some debate over the exact location in New Orleans where the shooting occurred.
Gee Money’s Background
Gerald Woodley was born in 1969 in New Orleans, Louisiana. He grew up in the Calliope Projects, one of the city’s roughest housing developments. As a teenager in the 1980s, Woodley began selling drugs and picked up the street name Gee Money. He was associated with the Cash Money Brothers, a group of three brothers – Bryan “Baby/Birdman” Williams, Ronald “Slim” Williams, and Terius “Mannie Fresh” Gray – who also grew up dealing drugs in New Orleans.
In 1991, the Cash Money Brothers founded Cash Money Records, an independent record label, initially to produce and distribute their own music. They had early success with local rapper Kilo G and the group U.N.L.V. As the label gained traction in the 1990s, Gee Money sometimes featured on Cash Money records, rapping about his drug-dealing exploits from the Calliope Projects. Songs like “Clear da Set” established his street credibility.
However, Gee Money never achieved great solo success or release his own album. He was primarily known for his drug empire in downtown New Orleans. Gee Money oversaw a large ring selling crack cocaine and heroin. At its peak, his operation was shifting multiple kilos per week and grossing up to $20,000 a day.
Murder of Gee Money
On September 19, 2005, Gee Money was shot 10 times in downtown New Orleans. He was hit in the chest, abdomen, arms, and legs. Gee Money was killed instantly. He was 36 years old at the time of his death.
The murder occurred amid a spike in violent crime in New Orleans in the early 2000s. The city set a record with 161 murders in 1994, when Gee Money’s drug ring was at its peak. By 2004, the annual murder count exceeded 200 people as gang violence increased in drug distribution hubs like the Calliope Projects.
Gee Money’s murder came just weeks before Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans on August 29, 2005. Some speculated his death was part of intensifying turf wars between drug gangs anticipating disruption from the impending storm. Others suggested a personal dispute or revenge killing.
Dispute Over Shooter’s Identity
In the aftermath, speculation swirled over who killed Gee Money. Early reports stated he was shot by an unknown assailant while sitting in his car. Another rumor suggested Gee Money was killed by a member of the New Orleans Police Department who was never identified.
The two prime suspects were fellow Calliope Projects natives Terrence “Fly T” Jones and Desmond “D-Boy” Hardy. Jones and Hardy were involved in the drug trade and had previous beef with Gee Money. Some posited Hardy killed Gee Money as retaliation after Jones was murdered in 2004. Hardy reportedly confessed to murdering Gee Money before later denying it.
In 2015, the FBI indictment of a drug trafficker named Courtney “Black” Irvin reignited the case. The indictment alleged Irvin conspired to distribute cocaine with Hardy, who “shot and killed rapper Gee Money” in 2005. Hardy was indicted for drug charges but never prosecuted for the murder.
Ultimately, the shooter was never conclusively identified. With key witnesses unwilling to testify, the New Orleans Police Department officially classified the murder as unsolved.
Debating the Murder Location
In addition to the mystery around Gee Money’s killer, there is also uncertainty about exactly where in New Orleans he was gunned down.
Early reports stated the shooting happened near the Calliope Projects in Central City, which was considered Gee Money’s territory. However, others argued the murder took place downtown or in the 7th Ward neighborhood.
In his 2010 memoir, Ronald “Slim” Williams of Cash Money Records wrote that Gee Money was killed in the Florida area housing projects. Meanwhile, the 2015 FBI indictment pinpointed the 1500 block of Terpsichore Street.
The confusion stems in part from New Orleans geography. The Calliope Projects are located between Terpsichore Street and South Saratoga Street. So witnesses claiming Gee Money was killed “in Calliope” could be referring to a several block radius.
Additionally, the chaotic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina made it difficult to lock down the exact crime scene location. With much of the neighborhood damaged or destroyed in flooding after the storm, concrete evidence was washed away.
Theories on Why Gee Money Was Killed
In the absence of definitive proof about who killed Gee Money and where, several theories have emerged to explain the motivation behind his murder.
Retaliation for Past Violence
One theory positions Gee Money’s death as revenge for his alleged involvement in killings across downtown New Orleans during his years as a drug boss.
For instance, some accuse Gee Money of ordering the November 2002 murder of 17-year-old snitch Jeffery “Fuck” Williams. Others have speculated Gee Money killed a former associate named Corey “Coco” Baptiste who threatened to testify against his organization.
If Gee Money was indeed behind those slayings, either could have supplied a motive for a revenge killing in 2005. Perhaps a relative, friend or fellow gang member sought to settle the score.
Dispute Over Drug Territory
Another potential explanation is that Gee Money’s murder resulted from a territorial dispute between rival drug dealers in New Orleans.
Gee Money controlled downtown corners in the Magnolia projects and Calliope. But there were other dealers vying for control of the heroin and cocaine markets in the city’s housing projects. The murder may have been an effort by a competing faction to take out Gee Money and assume control of his territory.
Notably, Desmond Hardy was allegedly encroaching on parts of Gee Money’s turf. The timing of the murder supports the idea that Gee Money’s rivals saw an opportunity to seize on his territory.
Personal Beef Within Cash Money Records
A third theory proposes that Gee Money’s murder stemmed from internal tension and rivalries within the Cash Money Records organization.
Gee Money had a hot temper and reputation for violence. Some speculate his ambitions to be a solo rap star may have created friction with Baby and Slim, who were focused on building Cash Money into a major national label.
There were also rumors that Gee Money disagreed with how money was allocated by Cash Money’s management. Perhaps his vocal complaints made him a problem within the organization.
However, this theory lacks direct evidence. Nothing indicates Cash Money’s founders ordered the hit. And they mourned Gee’s death in statements and songs. Still, it remains plausible that Gee Money’s murder resulted from his association with the infamous label.
Impact of Gee Money’s Death
The murder of Gee Money shocked New Orleans’ rap community and the streets where he made his name. It also coincided with a transitional period for Cash Money Records.
End of Cash Money’s Early Era
Gee Money’s death marked the end of Cash Money Records’ early era rooted in the projects of New Orleans. Soon after, the label’s major stars – Lil Wayne, Juvenile and B.G. – departed because of financial disputes.
Cash Money co-founder Mannie Fresh also exited, leaving Birdman and Slim as the sole operators. They eventually relocated Cash Money to Miami and New York to focus on national promotions and distribution.
In this sense, Gee Money’s murder closed the chapter on the label’s street origins. The local hustler image that Cash Money cultivated was symbolically laid to rest when Gee Money was gunned down.
Loss of Authentic Street Voice
Musically, Gee Money’s death cost Cash Money Records one of its most authentic street voices.
Gee Money gave raw accounts of dealing drugs, dodging bullets, and surviving poverty in the Calliope. Songs like “Clear da Set” resonated because Gee Money actually lived that lifestyle.
With his violent demise, Cash Money lost the perspective he brought as an OG from New Orleans’ housing projects. Subsequent Cash Money albums took a more mainstream approach and moved away from hard-edged street rap.
Legend Sealed by Early Death
Ironically, dying young immortalized Gee Money’s legacy in New Orleans. Had he lived longer, his notoriety may have faded.
Instead, becoming a murder victim at just 36 sealed his status as a hip hop martyr on the streets where he hustled. Gee Money is remembered as an embodiment of 1990s New Orleans rap – a flashy, dangerous boss who paid the ultimate price for the street code.
While alive, Gee Money never achieved much success beyond the walls of the Calliope. But in death, he remains a name that rings out as a Cash Money legend.
The 2005 murder of New Orleans rapper and drug kingpin Gee Money remains an unsolved mystery. While the identity of his killer was never definitively determined, theories point to a web of potential motives related to old scores, drug wars, and rap label politics. Gee Money’s death marked the end of Cash Money Records’ early years in the Calliope projects. And it cemented his status as a tragic hip hop icon whose brutal murder immortalized his hardcore street image. Though the location and full details may never be known, the legacy of the real Gee Money lives on in New Orleans lore.