The hip-hop world is once again in mourning after rapper Huey – best known for his hit ‘Pop, Lock & Drop It’ – was killed in a shooting in St. Louis. Here’s what you need to know.
Rapper Huey, 32, was shot at a home in the city of Kinloch, Missouri, during the evening hours of Thursday, June 25. He later died at a hospital around 11 p.m., according to St. Louis County police Sgt. Benjamin Granda, per NBC News. Another man, 21, was also wounded in the shooting. This second victim reportedly showed up at the Ferguson Police Department before he was taken to a nearby hospital. He is expected to survive.
The authorities said there are as many as ten “other individuals who were present in and around the crime scene” during the fatal incident. The St. Louis County police released no details about a possible motive, per the St Louis Post Dispatch, nor did they name any possible suspects. As they figure out what happened and who’s responsible for this tragedy, here’s what you need to know about Huey.
1. He was a St. Louis rapper. Huey – also referred to as Baby Huey – was born Lawrence Frank Jr. in Kinloch, Missouri. He was the youngest of four children and had a hard time growing up. “It was really rough,” Huey said of his upbringing. “My mama and daddy were on drugs. My brother was in and out of jail. The foster people were chasing me. It was crazy.”
2. He’s known for the 2007 hit, “Pop, Lock & Drop It.” Huey began working on his music as a young man, and success would come early on in his life. His track, “Pop, Lock & Drop It,” blew up when he was only 17, eventually peaking at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100. His debut album, Notebook Paper, reached No. 26 on the Billboard 200. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to recreate the commercial success with the follow-ups.
“I’m about to redeem myself,” Huey told the Riverfront Times about his second album, Redemption. “In the eyes of the public, I kind of got tied down. A lot of people were saying, ‘He’s just a one-hit-wonder; he didn’t have it in him.’ So I feel like I have to redeem myself. I have to show these people what I can do, what I am — who I am.”
3. He had beef with Nelly. In 2007, Huey clashed with fellow St. Louis rapper Nelly, claiming he approached Nelly over a possible collaboration. Nelly turned Huey down, which didn’t sit well with him. So, Huey fired back with a diss track (“Down, Down, Baby”). “It’s a support war,” Huey explained, according to MTV. “It’s a difference [between us]. It’s exactly what it is, if you listen to my album, you can see the difference from St. Louis now compared to then. That’s not even St. Louis’ style.” Nelly responded, eventually, with a verse on “Cut It Up,” a track with Pimp C and Sean Paul. “It’s a new St. Louis, yeah that’s funny/ I ‘mma stick with the old, the new don’t make enough money.”
4. Huey survived a previous drive-by shooting. In May 2009, Huey left Yo Gotti’s birthday bash at St. Louis’s Club Society. He rode in a Jaguar, following an SUV carrying his childhood friends. When the two cars stopped at a red light at 18th and Market Streets, another vehicle pulled up alongside them. At least two gunmen opened fire, according to the Riverfront Times, killing the driver and two other passengers in the SUV.
“I really don’t know what happened or why it happened,” Huey said in 2010. “We basically was at the club and had a wonderful time. No problems, no altercations, no nothing. Once we left, the shots went off at the light. We were right behind them. It was hella loud. Luckily, my car didn’t get shot.”
5. A friend said he “enjoyed life.” His longtime friend and mentor, Enrico Washington, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Huey, “enjoyed life. Just happy about life. You’re talking about a young man still had a lot of life to live.” Washington said that Huey was still earning royalties off the single, and expressed interest in building apartments and housing in St. Louis. “Kinloch is no easy place to live. It’s tough. But he was living the entrepreneurial spirit. He was doing it the right way.”