One hit wonders are all over the music industry making hits, taking hits and leaving the game–sometimes for good, other times for a good comeback. Resiliency is a quality that all artists need to possess, just ask Huey. Yes, we all know him from “Pop, Lock and Drop It” fame, but this St. Louis born and bred rapper is more than his last hit. Huey is a man with a plan to elevate his career to the same level as it once was and keep it there. His new single, “Smile and Wave” is already seeing the same success as “Pop, Lock and Drop It” and this is only a warm up. Huey’s latest album Redemption is appropriately titled to show us that he is able to be more than one hit. With minimal features, Huey wants to make sure the fans don’t get ADD while listening and focus on him. That shouldn’t be a problem, especially with Huey’s animated deliver, killer lyrics and broad range of subject matter. There’s something for everyone in Redemption–even the baby boomers can bang it in their trunks. Huey took some time out from his road to redemption to chat with Chronic about beef with Nelly, where he’s been since “Po, Lock and Drop It,” and why he is feeling redeemed.
Congrats on your new album! Why call it Redemption?
I just feel like after the three-year break I’ve had, a lot of fans may be disappointed. They haven’t heard from me. I’m highly disappointed that I had to take this break. A lot of people feel like Huey fell of the face of the earth. It was a break. I wasn’t seen for a minute. I was seen in the shows I was doing, but as far as television and articles in magazines; it was very low. I have to come back. I need to redeem myself. There’s a lot of people that don’t know Huey–they just know, “Pop, Lock and Drop It.” That’s a part of my career that I’m tired of my d*mn self because every time someone hears Huey, they say, “Oh you mean, Mr. Pop, Lock and Drop It?” There’s more to Huey than just that. I want the world to know that; that Huey is really a lyricist. He can give you any type of record–street, club bangers, conscious records, lady I love you–wherever you want to go, pop, rock!
What were you up to during your hiatus?
Basically my life was normal. I was chilling. Of course I was still working, I stay in the studio all the time. I go bowling a lot. My daughter is about to be 4, so I’ve been with her as much as I can without baby momma drama. [laughs] I’ve been getting my business right. You know I had to get out of that last situation for this new one because it was cool for the time being, but I had to grow. I had to better my surroundings–the people around me, the label, publicists, management, everything. I had to renew my team to where I felt comfortable enough to be ready to grow. I wasn’t growing there. I was decreasing. I’m in a better situation now. I will be successful as long as I stay focused on what I have to do. What’s for me, is for me. I was taught that a long time ago in church–what God has for me is for me. It was a month later [after switching my whole team] I got a deal. I don’t think that happens often. Let’s get it! I’m ready!
I’m glad that you’re breaking out of the one hit wonder title. A lot of people only know you from “Pop, Lock and Drop It.” There’s nothing wrong with that because it was a certifiable hit. Do you feel like you’re validated in the game?
I feel like there are a lot of people that don’t know me, but there are a lot of people that definitely do know me from mixtapes that I’ve dropped. Feedback was 100% positive. It was very poor promotion with the last team that I was with. I wasn’t thrown out there like I was supposed to be or how I was expecting to be. After “Pop, Lock and Drop It,” the next record was with me and Lloyd–which was a smash–“When I Hustle–“ it wasn’t promoted as much as it should have been. If it would have been left up to me, it would have been pushed harder than “Pop, Lock and Drop It” because it’s the next song. During my break, I had to get out of my last situation and into a new one. Now that I’ve found one, it’s time for me to redeem myself. I don’t think I was ever not relevant because I’ve always had people talking about me and I’ve always had haters. As long as somebody had my name in their mouth, I was always relevant. I’m about to be more relevant. I’m not going to stop. I’m going to keep banging them in the head until somebody needs to go to trauma. [laughs]
Independent versus major label. You’ve been involved with both–which is best?
As far as labels, the best way to be is independent. You need the labels as support. When you’re with a major label, you’re getting fucked. [laughs] I’m just being honest. Their hands are in the pot and you really see money from shows and royalty from publishing. You do all this hard work to sell these albums and you see none of that. By being with an independent label, like I’m at right now, it’s a beautiful thing. You’re getting everything, you just have to put in more work. I think that the artists in hip hop should put in work anyway to get more. This is what you do, it’s your job. You should be prepared to wake up at 6 o’clock in the morning, after you finished performing and didn’t leave the club until 4. Be prepared.
It seems hip-hop thrives on beef and you had some with Nelly…
**read Huey’s response and the rest of his story here**