Why 'Pop, Lock & Drop It' rapper Huey matters to St. Louis music history

Kevin C. Johnson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch on

Published in Entertainment News

ST. LOUIS -- St. Louis' hit hip-hop wave of the 2000s wouldn't be complete without Huey and "Pop, Lock & Drop It."

The Kinloch native's 2006 Top 10 hit, which even included a dance, is as much a part of the city's rap pedigree as anything from bigger names such as Nelly and Chingy. Any conversation about local rap music's key hits must include "Pop, Lock & Drop It."

His song is nothing less than a bona fide St. Louis classic.

Huey, aka Baby Huey (Lawrence Franks Jr.), was killed late Thursday in a double shooting in the 8100 block of Martin Luther King Drive in Kinloch, outside his family's home. (He lived in a loft downtown.) St. Louis County Police identified Huey as being 32, though he's said elsewhere to have been 31 years old.

His journey from adolescence into adulthood was tough. He attended Berkeley and McCluer high schools only for a while, later earning his GED, and was briefly jailed on a weapons possession charge.

But he found his way through music.


Signed to Jive Records/Hitz Committee, Huey released "Pop, Lock & Drop It" when he was 19. He told the Post-Dispatch that the song would be a "whole new twist for St. Louis. It'll be versatile for the ladies and a little thug in it for the men. It's a little bit of everything."

The song was the first single from his album "Notebook Paper."

"I looked at the whole game and placed it into a notebook, and now I'm making cash off the notebook," he said at the time, explaining the album's title. "I also called it that because I thought it was different. Most people name their CDs after themselves their first time out or name it after their single."

"Pop, Lock & Drop It" was as infectious as anything on the radio at the time and made Huey a new face on MTV and BET. The song hit the Top 10 on several Billboard charts, going as high as No. 2 on the Hot Rap Songs chart. The video currently has 50 million views on YouTube.


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