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Karlton Hines (Torn Between The NBA & The Drug Trade)

Karlton Hines (pictured above) was the youngest child in his family, the family occupied an apartment in the projects; Karlton’s mother raised the entire family on her income.

Karlton, at the tender age of 12, was a standout on the basketball court.  His skills were so advanced; he often played against kids who were 16-17 years old.

Despite being the youngest on the court, Karlton often won MVP awards.  Everywhere he went, 20-30 coaches followed.

When he returned home from the gym, recruiters would be waiting.

At 15, he had a NBA body and stood 6’5.  He was so versatile, he could play power forward and guard.  He was also an unselfish player and passed the ball around.

Everybody wanted to be near him.  He was treated like a local celebrity among his peers.

In high school, rap mogul Damon Dash was one of Karlton’s classmates.

Karlton made 65 percent of his shots on the court and he played alongside future NBA star Sam Cassell.

He received over 35 letters from colleges around the world but Karlton was intent on going to Syracuse.

He was an All-Star and many considered him the best high school basketball player in the country.  His skills were similar to Lebron James.

His dunks were so fierce and ferocious; he was nicknamed ‘Dunking Hines.’

But something went terribly wrong, four months before graduation, after an altercation with a coach, Karlton quit basketball.  The lure of the streets became too great.

His mother tried to motivate him, to no avail, he often hung out around the house depressed, until one of his friends talked him into going across the bridge to play in pickup basketball games that could net him thousands.

Drug dealers paid Karlton $5,000-$10,000 dollars to play against other players due to his celebrity.  Although the money was great, these events didn’t occur on a regular basis.

Karlton liked the celebrity of the dealer; over time, he became intrigued with hustling.

Before long, Karlton started dealing drugs.

At the age of 18, Karlton got into an altercation with a neighborhood man, the man pulled a knife on him, in self-defense; Karlton sliced him across the neck with a broken bottle and severed an artery.  The man was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Karlton turned himself in to the police after 11 days on the run.

One month later, he was released from prison after a judge ruled he acted in self-defense.

After his release from prison, Karlton got into the drug game with a vengeance.

He sat on a stoop from 7:30 a.m. in the morning till 10 p.m. at night, selling cocaine.  He became overwhelmed, netting $10,000 per day.

Business was so good, Karlton needed help; a crew of eight was assigned to assist him.

With help from the crew, he began netting $100,000 per day, which soon escalated to $225,000 per day as lines snaked around the corner, starting at 7:00 a.m. in the morning.

Karlton was given 40 percent of the profits. He made big purchases, a Mercedes Benz, a Lexus and an assortment of furs and bling.  He was never seen in the same fur twice.

Karlton wore $100,000 worth of bling on any given occasion.  He also had drug deals out of town; he would leave and return with $90,000 in cash.

Due to the competition; Karlton and his crew strapped themselves with guns.

His mother tried to talk him into going back to school; he said he couldn’t because people would call him a murderer.

After his second daughter was born, he was thinking about getting out of the drug trade.

Karlton and a friend went to see a Syracuse basketball game.

A recruiter from the USBL (United States Basketball League) approached Karlton and asked him to come down for a tryout.

Karlton started getting in shape.

On the night of his birthday, he and his crew planned to celebrate, Karlton’s friend Bee-O was throwing a party.

The crew purchased rims for their cars, and they went on a shopping spree.

Karlton was having custom-made seats put in his Lexus; they went to the shop to pick up the car.  One of the detailers was trying to talk Karlton into purchasing a car alarm system.  He asked Karlton to come with him, he would show him how the system operated on another car, as they approached the car, shots rung out.

When the shots stopped, Carlos, a member of Karlton’s crew screamed, I’ve been hit.   Other members of the crew rushed to his aid, that’s when they saw Karlton lying on the ground, they tried to resurrect him but it was too late, Karlton was dead.

Karlton Hines died on April 8th , 1994 at the age of 25.  $5,000 was found in his pockets.  The killer or killers were never apprehended.

Carlos, who was shot on the day Karlton got killed, would be murdered a few months later.

Karlton’s close friend Bee-O whose party he was to attend the evening of his death was also killed later that year.

Source: ‘The Karlton Hines Story’ by Troy Reed & Street Stars



In 1996, Lathan Williams a.k.a. ‘Young Lay’ (pictured above) was on the fast track to rap stardom.   He was celebrating the success of a hit single and an upcoming album featuring the already legendary Tupac Shakur. Lay and Tupac also had the same manager, Leila Steinberg.

Lay’s career took off when his single ‘All About My Feeti,’ appeared on volume one of the ‘New Jersey Drive’ soundtrack in 1995.  The soundtrack linked Lay to more established names on the East Coast rap scene, Biggie, Queen Latifah and Outkast.  The record went gold and Lay signed on with Atlantic Records.

Just when his career seemed to be taking off, a gunshot wound to the head left him in a coma.  He was shot while traveling in the passenger seat of a car in Vallejo, Ca.  Lay would emerge from the coma after two weeks and fully recover.  It was the second time Lay had been shot. He had been shot in the back when he was younger.

Lay would also plead no contest and was fined $170 for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana.  A month later, the D.A. charged him with felony drug possession for which he was convicted on put on probation.

A few months later, police reported finding three rocks of cocaine weighing just over a half of gram in Lay’s mouth.  He pleaded not guilty and posted the $7,500 in bail to get out of jail.  While out on probation, he was cited for possessing an open container of alcohol in a car.  He was sentenced to five years probation and one year in jail and required to complete a drug treatment program.

Later that year, Lay would become a new father, in April of that year, his girlfriend Daphne Boyden gave birth to their son, Le-Zhan.

A month later in May, Daphne Boyden was shot and burned to death by two 15-year old fellow high school students and her baby was kidnapped.

Police theorized, someone set fire to Daphne’s corpse to cover up the crime.

Six years later, acting on an anonymous tip, Vallejo police recovered Le-Zhan Williams, the son of Young Lay.  Police arrested 22-year old Latasha Brown (murder and kidnap) and her cousin Ocianetta Williams (murder and kidnap) and Latasha’s mother Delores Ann Brown (for aiding and abetting).

The police say Latasha Brown had a forged birth certificate, claiming she was Le-Zhan’s mother.  Police suspect Brown’s aunt, a Texas nurse, may have altered the birth certificate.

According to witness testimony, Daphne Boyden was nursing her infant son when Latasha Brown leaned over the couch, hugged her good-bye and shot her.

Although the police say there is no clear motive in the case, they suspect a connection between Latasha Brown and the baby’s father (Young Lay).  There’s some speculation that Brown had a relationship with the father Lathan Williams and that she had been jealous of Daphne Boyden’s relationship and the fact that she had a child with him, especially with ‘Young Lay’ being famous, and her intent was to take the child away.

After DNA confirmed Le-Zhan’s identity, he was reunited with his family.

Latasha Brown was convicted and sentenced to 37 years to life in prison.

Ocianetta Williams was convicted and sentenced to 14 years in prison.

Delores Brown received a year in jail in 2003 for helping to conceal the kidnapped child.

Sadly, ‘Young Lay’s’ career derailed when increasing problems with the law landed him in state prison in Susanville with a 12-year sentence for armed robbery.

Source: Vallejonews.com


As we go to press, this true story came across my desk, although vague and sketchy, these are the details: Shani Holloway, 31, was a pretty music promoter located in Pittsburgh, CA, a suburb of San Francisco. She was also the mother of two sons, (15 and 11).  She booked concerts in small venues throughout the bay area and was well liked and well respected by people in the industry.

In 2004, she added a rap act (Kanyva) real name, Justin Potts, to one of her shows. After the show, she asked to speak to Kanyva. She critiqued his performance and gave him constructive criticism in a respectful manner.

Police theorize, Kanyva didn’t like the fact that ‘a woman’ had the audacity to critique his performance; he didn’t take Holloway’s advice too well.

As he exited the building, he saw Holloway in conversation as she sat in the passenger seat of her fiance’s car, he creeped up to the passenger window and fired two shots, both bullets struck her in the head, she died instantly.


Justin Potts aka Kanyva was a well known and respected rapper in Pittsburg, CA.  He had won two consecutive "battle rap competitions" and had been featured in several national magazines predicting, he would be the next big rapper.

Potts is currently being held in jail in lieu of a $1 million dollar bond.

Update: Kanyva was sentenced to 50 years to life in prison for first-degree murder.



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