|Next Project:||Notebook Paper|
|Twitter:||Huey on Twitter|
Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, rapper Huey (also know as Baby Huey) is trying to rekindle a flame that has burnt out several times in his home city. Although St. Louis became popular due to artists such as Nelly, Chingy and one-hit wonder J-Kwon, the city is still longing for a place amongst its competing regions. Like many before him, Huey will attempt to place the city on his shoulders and ride his hit single “Pop, Lock & Drop It,” all the way to the top, metaphorically speaking of course. This June Huey’s debut album will be out in stores, entitled Notebook Paper. Before then, Huey sat down with DJBooth.net’s DJ “Z,” to discuss the unknown longevity of the successful single, how he can appeal as both a gutter and commercially viable artist, and what it will take for fellow artists from the ‘Lou to collaborate together.
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Huey Interview Transcription
DJ Booth: What’s up ya’ll—it’s ya boy “Z,” and joining me inside the DJBooth, is a native to the Midwest, and my neighbor to the West, St. Louis, repin’ it hardcore, my man Huey! What’s good?
Huey: I’m chillin’—what ya’ doin’ my guy?
DJ Booth: I’m pop-lock-&-droppin’ it my dude.
Huey: Ha-ha-ha—that’s what’s up!
DJ Booth: When you used “Pop Lock & Drop It” to get your record contract with Jive, did you have any idea that three years later you’d be using the same single as the lead for your debut album and it would be such a gigantic success?
Huey: Naw, I definitely didn’t think it would be big, or what it is right now.
DJ Booth: Mims has “This Is Why I’m Hot,” and you have “Pop Lock & Drop It.” Despite his hot single, his sales have been weak; so when you drop your new album “Notebook Paper,” this June, what type of sales success should we expect from Huey?
Huey: I don’t know. I’m hopin’ for the best. ‘Cause with Mims, it was shockin’ news when I found out that his album was dropin’, and that single wasn’t too far out. “Pop Lock & Drop It” has been a good hit, so people are getting’ to know who Huey is, so I think sales are going to be pretty good—you know what I’m sayin’? We’re already at 700,000 ring tones sold. I’m expecting some good sales, but they say don’t get your hopes too high.
DJ Booth: Now Huey, when you first came with “Pop Lock & Drop It”, a lot of people from the Midwest really liked it, which gave it regional success. How do you think you’ve been able to develop that into nationwide success?
Huey: Keepin’ it real, doin’ interviews—doin’ everything. When I go to different cities, we go to the radio stations. We makin’ eye-to-eye contact with all these DJ’s. Basically, just keepin’ my grind strong, just like when I was [only] local.
DJ Booth: You claim you can be both gutter and commercial at the same time. How do you plan to achieve both?
Huey: Like right now, with the state of Hip-Hop, a lot of people sayin’ rappers don’t give messages out and ‘me, myself, and I’ on this album: “Notebook Paper” I have basically everything. I have the conscious records; I got the “lady-I-love-U’s.” I got the thuggness, club bangers. I got the soul. I got the swag records, talkin’ about how fresh you are—I think I can accomplish both of ‘em, and still be successful, because on the commercial [tip] it’s more what everyone can relate to. Then I [also] got some educational stuff. I think I got a pretty good chance to be both. The first single of course is commercial and the second single “When I Hustle,” is going to be commercial also.
DJ Booth: You got a little bit of everything, for a little bit of everybody.
DJ Booth: When you sat in class as a child, bored out of your mind in history, what did you draw on your notebook paper?
Huey: On my notebook paper, ha-ha… On my notebook paper I wrote rhymes. I was thinking’ about my rap, and what-hot, but at the same time, I was doin’ my work, so whenever I got a break, I was writin’ rhymes.
DJ Booth: You claim that St. Louis is your home and where your heart lies, but I know you moved down to Atlanta to live there while you recorded your album. How do you think people from St. Louis feel about your transplant?
Huey: Correction, actually I moved to Atlanta just to record my album, but I still live in St. Louis. Everybody see me in St. Louis when I come home. I just be on the road a lot doin’ my shows or whatever, but I’m still in the Lou. They see that I aint left yet…
DJ Booth: Huey for the most part, artists from the south collaborate with one another; however the same cannot be said about artists from the Midwest. I’ve asked Chingy and he said it’s an “Ego-issue.” I asked J-Kwon and he said it’s a matter of time, and it will happen. Why aren’t artists from cities like Chicago, Detroit and St. Louis uniting together to record?
Huey: It’s gonna take somebody actually reachin’ out to everybody. All the artists that have been signed out of St. Louis haven’t done it. It’s easy for someone like me; because I can sign some artists and help them out. I’m definitely gonna do it. For example, Nelly. He’s a millionaire. He’s got more than enough money to sign St. Louis artists, and it’s not happening, so…for whatever reason I don’t know. Once ‘Huey’ gets to that level, I’m definitely going to bring more artists out of St. Louis, and any other part of the Midwest, if the artist is hot!
DJ Booth: Let’s say you had that opportunity for this album, that I’m sure is already recorded, who do you think you would have liked to work with from the Midwest that meshes with your style the best?
Huey: I wouldn’t mind doin’ a song with Twista’. Actually, I got a song on the album called, “Goin’ Down Tonight,” and it’s more of a Twista’ style record. We thought about reaching out to him about it, but opted to just feature me. I like Shawnna, she’s hot. It’s a lot of artists out here I want to work with. Jibbs and I are going to hook up soon. I wouldn’t mind doin’ music with anyone! As long as we doin’ music, and havin’ fun—it’s what we do.
DJ Booth: This album drops on June 5th. You have 10 seconds to tell everybody, why they need to go out and pick up a copy when it’s available…
Huey: First of all you gotta come out and get this album, because this is H-U-E-Y, your boy. We got Bow Wow, Yo Gotti, Lloyd, T-Pain. It’s crazy—we got producers—Expect everything you’re not expectin’ to come out of St. Louis. Hitz Committee in the building, bang!
DJ Booth: Huey, I wish you nothing but the best with your new album “Notebook Paper,” and continue to rep’ St. Louis and the Midwest. And thank you for “Pop Lock & Drop It.” I probably don’t do it right, but I get a nice response from the ladies in the club, so—thank you.
Huey: That’s what’s up and thanks.