Squeak says Martin covered Stewart's bills for a couple of years, but that their relationship went beyond money. "He would try to shop his production for him, give him ideas. Like Damon had an idea for them to do a website together to scout out producers, because Shawty was an A&R as well." Although Martin mostly shied away from the limelight, he did make a few cameo appearances in a 2007 music video that, according to Squeak Martin financed for Shawty Redd called "One Shot." In the video, Shawty Redd rails against the disloyalty of the music industry. "I only got one shot," he raps on the ominous track. "And I keep a steady aim / Finger on my trigger, ’bout to do the damn thing."
It didn’t take long for Stewart’s visions of stardom to come true. After producing hits for Young Jeezy and Gucci Mane, Stewart eventually received mainstream acclaim after helping to resuscitate Snoop Dogg’s career with the 2008 hit “Sexual Eruption.” That same year, the producer bought his house in the gated Crystal Lake community of Hampton, Georgia. He moved in his DJ, DJ Dyce, his “play brother” Reddnose, and an understudy producer, D.Rich. (Attempts to contact Reddnose, D.Rich, and DJ Dyce were not successful as of press time).
Around the same time, Martin fell into his own financial problems, and Stewart reportedly moved him into a room in his home. Squeak did not officially live in the house, but he did stay there for weeks at a time. "I was driving the [Geto Kingz] artists back and forth [to Atlanta]," he says. "Shawty’s door was always open to us. We didn’t have to call him. The security guard knew us and he would just lift the gate right up when they seen us. So it was a lot of love."
Squeak says he did not witness any major disagreements between Stewart and Martin, but he says there was some friction. "From what I seen, the arguments were basically about stuff like not putting dishes in the dishwasher or something. Simple things,” he says. “A lot of the times, Shawty wouldn’t even come up out his room until like mid-afternoon because they party all night and sleep all day. Since I was a producer, Shawty respected that I knew how to work the equipment so it was like, 'Squeak go head, ya’ll just go pick a beat and record it, whatever.' He didn’t really have to come down. So I was doing a lot of the engineering down there for Tony Trice under Shawty Redd’s production."
But over time Squeak says he noticed a change in the producer's personality: "He was real humble and kind in the beginning. He would cook for us and whatnot, but it seems like the more there was a demand for him [in the industry], he seem like he started to get a little bit arrogant. Sometimes he would just walk in and don’t speak to nobody, and just go upstairs."
It's not clear how these disagreements turned deadly. But an altercation at a local strip club on December 30 may have brought things to a head.