Lawrence Franks Jr. (January 1, 1989 – June 25, 2020) better known by his stage name Huey, was an American rapper from St. Louis, Missouri. Originally signed to Jive Records, Franks was best known for his 2006 debut single, "Pop, Lock & Drop It".
Huey was born on New Year's Day of 1989 in Kinloch, Missouri, where he was raised. He moved to Walnut Park neighborhood of St. Louis when he was five and returned to St. Louis County as a teenager. In an interview, he remembered his community as having "a lot of drugs going on and, of course, a little bit of violence" and said that his experiences growing up in a tough area inspired his rap lyrics. Huey, the youngest of four children, recalled his childhood being "really rough" and stated "My mama and daddy were on drugs. My brother was in and out of jail. The foster people were chasing me. It was crazy".
At age 15, Jimelle began creating hip hop beats. His older brother referred Franks to producer Angela Richardson, who was creating a rap group. Franks began performing as Huey, and his songs "Oh" and "Pop, Lock & Drop It" became local favorites among DJs and promoters. Huey was featured on a series of mixtapes, one of which, Unsigned Hype, sold out of its run of 8,000 copies and was noticed by producer TJ Chapman, who introduced the rapper to Vice President of A&R at Jive Records, Mickey "MeMpHiTz" Wright, in 2006.
2006—07: Notebook Paper
Huey's debut album for the label, Notebook Paper, was released in mid-2007, described by Allmusic as sounding like a mixture of Nelly, Chingy, and Ludacris. The album reached number 26 on the Billboard 200 chart and number 10 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. "Pop, Lock & Drop It", its lead single, peaked at number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming his biggest hit to date. Nelly's refusal to work with Huey on his debut album prompted two diss tracks "Down, Down, Baby" featuring Tha Camp Boyz and "Back at Cha'". Notebook Paper's next single was "When I Hustle" featuring singer Lloyd.
Huey's second album, Redemption, was released on September 14, 2010 after many delays. The first official single from the album was "Smile and Wave", which features Dorrough and was released on June 15, 2010. In "Smile and Wave", Huey criticizes his critics.
2013—2020: Project H
In 2013 Huey announced that he had officially signed with Waka Flocka Flame's label Brick Squad Monopoly and was working on his third album. On May 14, 2014 Huey released his mixtape entitled Project H. However, not much materialized from his signing to Brick Squad and Huey had been relatively quiet on the music scene in recent years. According to music executive William "Quayshaun" Carter, who worked with Huey in the 2010s - prior to his death, Huey had just started a business in upscale clothing, "and it was working out, and he was happy".
Huey was shot and killed on June 25, 2020, in Kinloch, Missouri. He was 31 years old and was the father of a 13-year old girl.
The shooting happened just before midnight in front of a home in the 8100 block of Martin Luther King Boulevard near Mable Avenue in Kinloch. Huey was taken to a hospital and died shortly after arriving there. Another victim, a 21-year old male, was also injured.
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions|
|Who The F*ck Is Huey?||
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Certifications||Album|
|"Pop, Lock & Drop It"||2006||6||6||2||10||
|"When I Hustle"
|"Tell Me This (G-5) [Tha Remix]"
(featuring MeMpHiTz and T-Pain)
|"24/7 - 365"
(featuirng Maino and Glasses Malone)
(featuring Juelz Santana and Bobby V)
|"Smile & Wave"
|"Pulled Away"||2020||—||—||—||—||Non-album single|
|"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.|