Late St. Louis rapper Huey rose to national notoriety in 2006 with “Pop, Lock & Drop It” and the accompanying video. The visual has racked up over 53 million YouTube views since its release and the single was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in 2008.
But in June 2020, Huey’s life was brought to a tragic end when he was shot and killed in his hometown. Police say Huey — born Lawrence Franks — was transported to a local hospital with a gunshot wound and pronounced dead soon after his arrival. A 21-year-old male victim of the same shooting also showed up to the Ferguson Police Department with a gunshot wound but survived.
A week after the shooting, KY3 news reported St. Louis County police believed up to 10 people were on scene when the shooting occurred and urged witnesses to come forward.
They have yet to make any arrests.
Although Huey has been gone for several months, his hit song continues to finds its way into current music. Last July, Huey’s fellow St. Louis native Nelly and the St. Lunatics paid tribute to the slain rapper during a performance at Live Nation’s Live From the Drive-In series of parking lot concerts. The sold-out crowd at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheater joined the veteran rapper in a moment of silence to acknowledge his passing.
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More recently, rising rap star Toosii paid homage in his own way by including “Pop, Lock & Drop It” in his lyrics for his May 2020 “Pea Coat” single.
“Put that boy on a shirt,” he raps. “My shooters don’t do reminiscing/Got a shooter, thirteen he a rocket/Forty bang knock his arm out of socket/He a pussy, wanna pop lock and drop it.”
Another rising rapper, Erica Banks, went all in and sampled “Pop, Lock & Drop It” for her single “Toot That.” The track lives on Banks’ self-titled mixtape, which arrived last June and earned the 23-year-old her first Billboard Hot 100 single with “Buss It,” the song currently inspiring countless TikTok and Instagram videos with the viral #BussItChallenge.
In a July 2020 interview with the Dallas Observer, Banks expressed regret over not being able to meet Huey before his untimely death but was grateful she got his blessing for the song before he died.
“We were supposed to meet,” she said. I’m saddened by Huey’s loss, yet honored to have been inspired enough to create something that will live on and hopefully honor his memory. His family, friends and fans who love him are in my prayers.”
Huey was introduced to the Jive Records Vice President of A&R Mickey “MeMpHiTz” Wright after “Pop, Lock & Drop It” became a local favorite. His debut album for the label, Notebook Paper, arrived mid-2007 and hit No. 26 on the Billboard 200 chart and No. 10 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.
He followed up with 2010’s Redemption, which never quite saw the success of his debut. In 2011, he released the Who The F*ck Is Huey? mixtape and returned three years later with the Project H mixtape. His last single, “Pulled Away,” arrived last year and found Huey talking about a broken relationship.
HipHopDX has reached out to the Ferguson Police Department and KY3 news for an update on the case.