Huey
Big Dreams

huey-1.jpgEven though artists such as Nelly and Chingy transformed St. Louis into a hip-hop hotspot with their chart topping singles and platinum plaques, the Midwest still suffers from a bit of a identity crisis. For the most part, MCs from The Lou have delivered nothing more than predictable, bubblegum party hits. According to 19-year-old rapper Huey, though, that’s all about to change. Hailing from St. Louis’ notorious Arlington Ave., Baby Huey started as a producer/MC during his mid-teens and gained notoriety through local shows and mixtapes. Powered by his popular smash, “Pop, Lock & Drop It,” Huey saw his Unsigned Hype mixtape quickly sell out. In 2006, the budding rapper’s buzz attracted the attention of producer TJ Chapman who introduced Huey to Jive Records’ VP of A&R, Mickey “MeMpHiTz” Wright. Impressed with the kid’s mic skills, Wright signed the Midwest representer to his HiTz Committee imprint. Earlier this year, “Pop, Lock & Drop It” was released nationally, landing at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles charts and selling over 200,000 ringtones. Riding high off the success, Huey released his debut LP, Notebook Paper, last week. XXLMag.com spoke with hip-hop’s newest sensation about his overnight success, the perception of St. Louis rappers and why he’s much more than a one-hit wonder.

Take us through the creative process behind making “Pop, Lock & Drop It.”
I was just lookin’ for a club banger. I wanted to talk about something different than bustin’ heads or fightin’. The song just came [into] my head. I wrote the first half of the hook and my manager’s daughters were there. They kept sayin’, “Pop, lock, and drop it.” I actually was like, “That’s the second half of the hook.” So we went to the studio instantly and I made them record it like how they were saying it at the house. That’s how it happened. I never knew the song was gonna be as big as it was, though.

Notebook Paper just came out, but what should people that haven’t heard it yet expect?
Expect everything you wouldn’t expect to come from the city of St. Louis. It’s very versatile. We got lady-love-you records, we got swag records, we got conscious records, we got gangsta records, and we got the lifestyle of Huey. It’s the whole package.

How is this an album nobody would expect to hear from a St. Louis rapper?
It’s totally different. You definitely not gonna expect this, like, seriously. Everybody that came out of St. Louis been different. And this is just beyond different right there. This is really the new St. Louis.

Everyone says they’re the new something. How is it really different?
I would say that everybody that has came out gave people industry stuff. Everybody just made songs because people want those songs. I actually made mines ’cause that’s how I felt and it’s real life. There’s nothin’ fake about it. There’s actually songs on this album that’s gonna make people sit down and think about things [in] a different way.

So you think the perception is that St. Louis produces only commercial music?
I wouldn’t say St. Louis in general, but so far, some of the things that has come out… like, if it was gangsta, it just wasn’t the right type of gangsta music. And if it’s commercial, it was too damn commercial.

But based off of “Pop, Lock & Drop It,” people are gonna assume you’re just bringing the same old thing. Was it important for you to spread beyond dance tracks on your album?
Everybody asks me if it’s just about “Pop, Lock & Drop It.” That’s a big no. We gonna get it in, they gonna see [and] they gonna understand.

Is there an overriding theme to Notebook Paper?
Nah, I don’t know. Basically, I’m placing [my] life into a notebook—things that I’ve been through, things that I’ve learned, seen, or lookin’ forward to doing. I’m placing it into a notebook and after the notebook; I’m [gonna] make paper.

What do you want people to understand about this new batch of St. Louis MCs?
That [there’s] actually talent in The Lou. Yeah, they heard Nelly, Chingy [and] Jibbs, but look how few artists that is out of a whole city. St. Louis is hardly looked at. I’m tryin’ to make them look a little harder. Even if I gotta step it up myself, it’s gonna happen. It’s gonna make people actually realize St. Louis is grimy [and] it’s gangsta. At the same time, we got sense in our brains, too. We not stupid.

So how much of your personal life are we going to hear?
You’re gonna know everything you need to know about Huey. I ain’t leave nothin’ out. I actually explained my whole life. After everybody hears the album, they gonna know exactly who I am. I just want people to know I was the same as everybody else. I had a dream, a struggle and all that. I stayed focused and even though I’ve made it, I’m still regular. I don’t feel like I’m better than nobody. I actually tell everybody that at my shows and everything. There’s really nothin’ in my life that people don’t know because I’ve already told it through a lot of interviews and on the album. Everybody is gonna know everything that I’ve been through.

What was it like growing up in St. Louis?
I grew up in Kinloch and it’s very hood. Right now, we don’t even have that many houses. It’s a real hood. It was rough growing up. There was a lot of junkies, drug dealers and whatnot. I was just another child in the hood.

Is there anything you took away from living there?
Nothing. [Just] be strong. You gotta keep yourself focused. Don’t let hard times down you. Just keep it movin’ and keep from losin’, that’s my motto.

A lot of people don’t know you started out as a producer first. How did you get involved in making beats?
I grew up in church and I got a keyboard. I just started making beats on it. It wasn’t nothin’ special. I just got a keyboard and that’s what I was doing. Finally, I found out how to make beats.

So what prompted you to get on the mic?
Everybody from the hood told me I was good and I should keep doin’ it. So I got with a local label and we got in the studio and recorded. I did my first show and it was like motivation. After that, I knew I wanted to do this.

How will you judge whether this album is a success?
I don’t know. I never thought about that. I ain’t gonna get my hopes up too high. I’m just gonna say I’m gonna do good. I damn sure ain’t gonna flop. I think it’s a success for me to actually be 19. Most 19-year-olds from where I’m from don’t even make it to 21. Me being 19 and signed to a major label, to become a successful young Black man, that’s successful enough for me.

  • Holla

    Wow – this guy is even dumber than I thought. Did he even go to high school? He sounds like an idiot.

  • http://xxlmag.com Bol

    >I grew up in Kinloch and it’s very hood.

    I can vouch for this.

    I had to go to the free clinic there once to get some papers for a job (no, really), and I’m still traumatized.

  • http://www.ShomiOnline.com Shomi

    >I grew up in Kinloch and it’s very hood.
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    True….but PageDale got down!!…You can’t front on that Bol! :-)

  • http://jarredr_904yahoo.com J-Reese

    All i got to say if you tryen to show that the LOU can make more than more that bubblegum music you going to have to come better then Pop-Lock-Drop-It dude. That song is as bubblegum as it gets.

  • C

    His first single sounds like Nelly, Jibbs, and Chingy could have come out with that garbage.

  • yo momma

    huey is wack. i predict HE won’t make it to 21. maybe this guy will:
    1. strangle his baby-mama,
    2. smother some innocent 7-year-old victim, and
    3. hang himself b/c he realizes he’s a talentless joke.

    but hopefully he’ll skip steps 1 and 2 and go directly to approach 3.

  • so st. louis

    ya’ll got us fucked up. the homie go hard on this cd. huey making money. whatcha hatin for? niggas always hatin. if you can make better music then shut the fuck and do it.

  • Danny

    Take us through the creative process behind making “Pop, Lock & Drop It.”

    ^^^
    Lmao@ that question…

    Like there was actually a creative process behind that “Bolshit”…

    I’m sorry but you are bringing absolutely nothing new to the table homie…

    I know that from how you answered the question below….

    Notebook Paper just came out, but what should people that haven’t heard it yet expect?
    Expect everything you wouldn’t expect to come from the city of St. Louis. It’s very versatile. We got lady-love-you records, we got swag records, we got conscious records, we got gangsta records, and we got the lifestyle of Huey. It’s the whole package.

    ^^^^
    That’s the problem with hip-hop, they have one format programed in there mind and they think that’s what making an album HAS to be like….

    Please switch it up!!!

  • i’ll shit bag u

    dude fuckin sucks!!! a typical dumb ass south rapper!!! big up east coast niggas 1

  • i’ll shit bag u

    dude fuckin sucks!!! a typical dumb ass south rapper!!! big up east coast niggas 1 .

  • jacquez
  • RAPSUKSBCAUSEOFU

    1st week sales: 29,321 = HUGE FLOP!

  • ABC

    I wrote the first half of the hook and my manager’s daughters were there. They kept sayin’, “Pop, lock, and drop it.” I actually was like, “That’s the second half of the hook.”
    ^^^^^^^^
    Hip-Hop is Dead!!!

  • A-Town

    I wrote the first half of the hook and my manager’s daughters were there. They kept sayin’, “Pop, lock, and drop it.” – HUEY
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    SO YOU WRITE NURSERY RHYMES FOR INFANTS…?

    GETHEFUKOUTAHERE!

  • NYC

    HAHAHAHAHAH…..THIS NIGGA IS GARBAGE. I HATE HIM AND WHAT HE REPRESENTS.THE INDUSTRY IS FUCKED UP.HIP HOP IS DYING RAPIDLY.WE NEED A LYRICAL REVOLUTION.WE NEED REAL MC’S TO STAND UP AND SAY SOMETHING ABOUT ALL OF THE BULLSHIT.PUT THESE NON RAPPING ASS IGNORANT COONS ON BLAST!!!!!!FUCK IT.EXPOSE THESE DANCING MINSTREL COONS FOR WHO THEY TRUELY ARE!!!!FUCK THE SHOP BOYZ!FUCK HUEY!FUCK T-PAIN!FUCK ANYONE WITH A LIL OR YOUNG IN THE FRONT OF THEIR NAMES! BE MEN NOT A LIL OR YOUNG WHATEVER!FUCKING COONS.

  • Sire For Hire

    Nas is right, HIP HOP is dead. Dance rap and bullshit reign supreme, longlive the underground.

  • Jroc

    Pop FLop it, AND DONT COP IT SHIT IZ TRASH !!!

  • tony starks

    aint herd dis guys truck but by the way he’s tlaking in dis interview he does sound dumb and not vey influential, wont last long theres always a new artist from da south coming out spitting shit every week they all shit need to go to school and learn a bit bout da world.

  • South City

    There’s actually songs on this album that’s gonna make people sit down and think about things [in] a different way.
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    Pop, Lock, and Stop it. Please. This nigga is an embarrassment to my city. Really.

    Kinloch ain’t hood. Unless your definition of hood is 3 houses and a Headstart.

    I honestly don’t know what’s up with my city, it seems like niggas have an identity crises. Located in the Midwest, but they see how much shine the South is gettin’ and they just latch on to it. The fuck is that StL? Seems like after Nellyville, StL music got real southernized real quick. From that lil fuck Jay-Nicks droppin’ a mixtape called “St.Lanta” (how gay is that, really.) to those cock mongrels droppin’ that “Peace Up, Arch Down” bullshit. I never understood StL’s mentality. It’s a 9 hour drive to Atlanta (10, if you’re a pussy and doin’ the speed limit), and 3 1/2 to Chicago. I’ll never understand it.

  • Charles

    “It’s gonna make people actually realize St. Louis is grimy [and] it’s gangsta. At the same time, we got sense in our brains, too. We not stupid.”
    ——————————————-
    Why does everyone think that to validate your hometown you have to prove how fucked up it was? He actually contradicted himself. I don’t know any gangsta that has sense in his brains. If he did he wouldn’t be a gangsta. He misrepresented sense for intelligence.

  • http://yahoo.com da greatest

    heuy is lame and good thing he aint from the south cause thats all we need is another dj unk,d4l,franchise boyz pointless music artist.

  • Freddy(Vega$)

    THIS NIGGA IS A CLOWN!!! im not Hatin im just sayin he act like Chingy, M Lee, and them niggaz but they 10 times hotter.. He aint got no shot sorry…..CURTIS…….

  • ABC

    Huey, Big Dreams? Ohh, be a ONE HIT WONDER for one summer, cause next year nobody not remember this a$$ hole. F%*K HUEY!!!

  • RealTalkFromARealNigga

    yall boys hatin, but for right now he gettin that show money and thats more than any of us sittin online wastin the damn day away..easy come easy go, he didnt waste any time or money wit this bubblegum hit but he gettin major paper as for right now..yall always talkin bout real mc’s need to come back, but yall dont go buy the shit..we r the consumers people, we decide what music gets played and that east coast shit aint poppin cause u niggas aint buyin..realtalkfromarealnigga, 1hunnit

  • Q-BURO

    ILL SHIT BAG U HATES ON THE SOUTHERN RAPPERS CAUSE THEY WOULDNT GIVE HIM NO PLAY!THAT FAG

  • Q-BURO

    ILL SHIT BAG U HATES ON THE SOUTHERN RAPPERS CAUSE THEY WOULDNT GIVE HIM NO PLAY!THAT FAG

  • Q-BURO

    ILL SHIT BAG U HATES ON THE SOUTHERN RAPPERS CAUSE THEY WOULDNT GIVE HIM NO PLAY!THAT FAG

  • Q-BURO

    ILL SHIT BAG U HATES ON THE SOUTHERN RAPPERS CAUSE THEY WOULDNT GIVE HIM NO PLAY!THAT FAG

  • JAVY STRAIGHT EASTCOAST

    I HATE THE FORM HIP HOP IS TAKING NOW A DAYS EXCEPT FOR A FEW RAPPERS BUT I MEAN HOW CAN WE BRING HIP HOP BACK WHEN MAINSTREAM COMPANYS ARE PLAYING THIS BULLSHIT TYPE MUSIC THAT ONLY REACH THE IGNORANT PEOPLE OF AMERICA FROM THE GHETTO I MEAN I LIVE IN THE GHETTO BUT STILL MY MENTALITY IS NOT AS DUMBED DOWN AS THE OTHER PEOPLE AROUND WHAT WE NEED TO DO IS PREMOTE A LYRICAL DISPLAY AND BRING IT MAIN STREAM SUCH AS SAIGON’S PAIN IN MY LIFE LUPE FIASCO’S MUSIC AND OTHER RAPPERS THAT WILL ACTUALLY CHALLENGE THE HUMAN MIND TO THINK HUEY IS JUST LIKE ANY OTHER RAPPER FROM THE SOUTH THEIR ALL STERO TYPICAL THEY COME IN DROP ONE SUPPOSE “CLUB BANGER” NOT BE HEARD FOR A WHOLE YEAR COME BAK WITH SOME HOOD PEOPLE MAKE A BULLSHIT GROUP AND THEN NEVER BE HEARD AGAIN UNLIKE 2PAC THAT MASTERED HIS STYLE AND STAYED REAL TO HIS MUSIC AND VIBE I GUESS HIP HOP IS DEAD UNLESS A MAJOR LYRICAL RAPPER HITS THE MAIN STREAM UNTIL THEN LISTEN TO UNDERGROUND AND BY THE WAY I HATE SELLOUTS FAB AND FAT JOE HOW YA GOT SOUTHERN RAPPERS IN YA TRACK YOU GUYS REALLY DISSAPOINT THE TRUE HIP HOP FANS ALSO LIL WAYNE YOU NEVER DID ANYTHING YOU SAID IN YOUR SONGS YOU STARTED RAPPING AT 17 AND BEFORE THAT YOU WAS IN A MANSION KISSING BABY ON YOUR SPARE TIME SO LIL WAYNE ONLY DEPICTS A IMAGE OF TUFF BUT HE IS NOT LIKE JAY-Z SAID
    ” The game’s fucked up
    Niggas beats is banging
    Nigga ya hooks did it
    ya lyrics didn’t
    ya gangsta look did it
    so i would write it if yall could get it
    being intricate’ll get ya wood critics” SO WITH THAT I LEAVE YOU TRU HIP HOP FANS AND DIS IS MY ARTICLE FOR TRU HIP HOP MAGIZINE I’LL BE ON ANOTHER ARTICLE SOON TO WRITE ANOTHER PARAGRAPH SO WATCH 4 IT

  • BORN IN THE NORTH, RAISED IN THE SOUTH

    Regional hating = ignorant bullshit (This is not in defense of Huey — I live in ATL and I’ve never even heard the song). For every shitty Southern rapper, there’s prolly two more up North…..

  • doctor69

    his album his album flopped hahahahahahhahah and danny you real funny talkng about originality but you a dipset fan hahhahahahahaha

  • futureblacklawyer

    huey is a gimmick, he saying the same oold same old. He talking about he kno for sure he aint flopping but yet he only did 28,000 his first week. How u do that bad with a big single? U sorry dont nobody wanna hear a whole album of club bangers we wanna hear stuff thatll touch us.

  • http://www.myspace.com/januaryblaq JBlaq*

    Aye,im a product of STL(Northside city)..Please check me out and lemme kno what yoo think. Thanx,yall..

    P.S.-If Huey can get money for the shit he makes,let’em..

  • livefromthe225

    to say cats from up north pride themselves on lyricism= intellect, y’all aint bright enough to realize that st. louis is midwest and not South…

    but on another note, this guy’s album probably is ass…I wouldn’t waste precious seconds out my life listening

    –signed a n**ga from Baton Rouge…the best rappers are from Chicago!!!!

  • Ryan

    hueys music makes me wanna eat glass

  • Ryan

    hueys music makes me wanna eat glass

  • http://xxl Teresa(From Da Lou)

    I SAY FUCK ALL YALL HATTIN AZZ EASTCOAST NIGGAZ EAT A DICK NO HOMO KEEP DOIN YA THANG L.J. “I FROM DA LOU N I”M PROUD BLOW YA FUCKIN SPEAKERS UP”

  • g-rwa

    when da album comes out and what’s da 1st single ???? anyody ???

  • g-r

    when da lbum drops and whats da 1st single ??? ANYBODY ???

  • bizzle

    NO FOR EVERY ONE SHITTY RAPPER ON THE EAST COAST THERE’S ABOUT 15 DOWN SOUTH..JUST TURN ON THE RADIO HOMMIE