St. Louis rapper Huey is no longer that “Pop, Lock & Drop It” dude who made folks dance seven years ago with the MTV and BET hit.
“Pop, Lock & Drop It” was the 2006 debut single from Huey’s 2007 album “Notebook Paper,” and it flew straight into the top 10, making him one of a wave of St. Louis rappers finding popularity after Nelly and Chingy.
“I was never that guy — that ‘Pop, Lock & Drop It’ guy,” Huey says. “That was just a record that worked. I never thought it would be the record for me, but it was. And with that happening, it got in the way of what I wanted to be looked at as.”
Huey, who has been too quiet for too long on the music scene, is poised to make some noise again. He’s the latest signee of popular rapper Waka Flocka Flame of “No Hands” and “Hard in Da Paint” fame’s Brick Squad.
He’s celebrating the signing with a free party Sunday night at the Ambassador. Flame will be in the house for the signing party.
“It’s a good thing,” Huey says. “It’s what I’ve been waiting for for a long time. It’s a blessing from God. I won’t let the city down this time.”
Huey’s attempt at a comeback can’t be labeled as anything less. Though Huey hit a few peaks after “Pop, Lock & Drop It,” including an appearance on an R. Kelly album, he has mostly been considered a one-hit wonder.
“Everything happens for a reason,” Huey says. “I had to go through a lot to get here. I had to witness being there and then being down.”
Huey, at the time of “Pop, Lock & Drop It,” was signed to the Hitz Committee and his music was distributed by Jive Records.
“Don’t get me wrong — we made some money,” he says. “But as far as affiliations and networking, it was a failure. There was a lot of (mess) going on with the whole Hitz Committee thing. Had I been signed directly to Jive, things would have went smoother. Jive would have taken it further. Hitz was still in the learning process, and we didn’t get the outcome we wanted.”
But that’s bound to change with his affiliation with Brick Squad. “The most important thing is being affiliated with someone who is somebody rather than coming out on your own and starting your own movement,” he says.
He and Flame already have music in the works that is expected to show up on “Project H,” Huey’s mixtape that is looking at a release around Memorial Day. “Project H” precedes his official Brick Squad debut album.
He says the music is definitely reflecting him this time; last time, he looked like a “dance-record guy.”
“I told my manager I would never make another dance record,” Huey says.
“I’m doing me now, examining life and my situations, things I see and been doing,” he says. “It’s about the struggle of me and my career. The music is versatile. It’s hood, it’s street and it’s urban pop.”
Huey says the deal with Brick Squad came about thanks to hard work and dedication. He first met a pre-fame Flame at an Atlanta nightclub in 2007. “He treated me with respect, and two weeks later he was on ‘106 & Park,’ ” he says.
It took several years from that point for Huey to land a slot in Brick Squad.
“It did seem like he didn’t bite immediately, and then the call came out of the blue,” he says. “He’s the type of artist looking to help people, unlike most artists who become successful and feel like they don’t need to help nobody.”
The signing spits in the face of all those who’d written Huey off.
“The critics were stating Huey was done,” he says. “I never let them dictate my future. I kept working hard. The more they told me I couldn’t do it, the more I wanted to. And if you still feel that way about me, come to the signing party.”
What Huey Signing Party to Brick Squad with Waka Flocka Flame • When 7 p.m. Sunday • Where The Ambassador, 9800 New Halls Ferry Road • How much Free • More info 314-869-9090