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 ďPop, Lock and Drop ItĒ 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, ďSmile and WaveĒ is already seeing the same success as ďPop, Lock and Drop ItĒ and this is only a warm up. Hueyís 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 donít get ADD while listening and focus on him. That shouldnít be a problem, especially with Hueyís animated deliver, killer lyrics and broad range of subject matter. Thereís 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 heís been since ďPo, Lock and Drop It,Ē and why he is feeling redeemed.
Congrats on your new album! Why call it Redemption?
I just feel like after the three-year break Iíve had, a lot of fans may be disappointed. They havenít heard from me. Iím 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 wasnít 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. Thereís a lot of people that donít know Huey--they just know, ďPop, Lock and Drop It.Ē Thatís a part of my career that Iím tired of my d*mn self because every time someone hears Huey, they say, ďOh you mean, Mr. Pop, Lock and Drop It?Ē Thereís 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 Iíve been with her as much as I can without baby momma drama. [laughs] Iíve 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 wasnít growing there. I was decreasing. Iím in a better situation now. I will be successful as long as I stay focused on what I have to do. Whatís 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 donít think that happens often. Letís get it! Iím ready!
Iím glad that youíre breaking out of the one hit wonder title. A lot of people only know you from ďPop, Lock and Drop It.Ē Thereís nothing wrong with that because it was a certifiable hit. Do you feel like youíre validated in the game?
I feel like there are a lot of people that donít know me, but there are a lot of people that definitely do know me from mixtapes that Iíve dropped. Feedback was 100% positive. It was very poor promotion with the last team that I was with. I wasnít thrown out there like I was supposed to be or how I was expecting to be. After ďPop, Lock and Drop It,Ē the next record was with me and Lloyd--which was a smash--ďWhen I Hustle--ď it wasnít promoted as much as it should have been. If it would have been left up to me, it would have been pushed harder than ďPop, Lock and Drop ItĒ because itís the next song. During my break, I had to get out of my last situation and into a new one. Now that Iíve found one, itís time for me to redeem myself. I donít think I was ever not relevant because Iíve always had people talking about me and Iíve always had haters. As long as somebody had my name in their mouth, I was always relevant. Iím about to be more relevant. Iím not going to stop. Iím going to keep banging them in the head until somebody needs to go to trauma. [laughs]
Independent versus major label. Youíve 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 youíre with a major label, youíre getting fucked. [laughs] Iím 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 Iím at right now, itís a beautiful thing. Youíre 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, itís your job. You should be prepared to wake up at in the morning, after you finished performing and didnít leave the club until 4. Be prepared.
It seems hip-hop thrives on beef and you had some with NellyÖ
I felt disrespected on something that occurred in the club. It was disrespectful. At the same time, if we could have had a chance to sit down and talk about the situation, then it wouldnít have escalated to what it did. So, I would really say itís a misunderstanding, but at the moment it was definitely disrespectful. If you give disrespect, then you get disrespected; wherever it goes from there, it can go. Gladly, it didnít escalate to go too far because of the fact that weíre both entertainers with a lot to lose. For that to happen, it would have f*cked both of us over in our careers. Somebody could have gotten hurt, ended up in jail, whatever. Thatís over it. Iíve worked with Murph. Me and Ali have definitely done shows and looking forward to doing more work together. I have a record with Murph called ďDo Them Bad.Ē That so called beef I had with Nelly is so over with. Once St. Louis gets out of the point of everybody for self, then the city shall be successful. Thereís a lot of talent there and theyíre just stuck in that city. Itís who you know, what you do and the people you surround yourself with that are going to help you be successful. If you surround yourself with negative people, youíre going to be negative. As long as Huey has anything to do with it, weíre going to get out of that!
Has hip-hop changed?
I feel like hip-hop has changed. People are going crazy with mixtapes. Everything has its time and the world evolves. Soon, hip-hop will be back to what it used to be as far as album sales.Youíll see the multiple golds and platinums coming back soon. Right now itís taking its toll with the internet and downloads. I see myself being successful within the next five years.
So where will Huey be in the next five years?
Iíll be where I want to be--happy, smiling, chilling with my daughter. Process makes progress and progress makes profit. Weíve got to move with the industry. We canít think weíre going to make our own lane because the world doesnít revolve around you. Ö Huey is trying to actually do him. I canít speak on what anybody else is doing. Iím doing me. Hip hop is definitely going to go back to what it used to be.
Who do you think listens to your music?
The music I have on this album is for my grown folks. I think my crowd is 17 and older. I can please someone from 17-50 if youíre still listening to hip hop at that age.You could be happy too! [laughs] You still have the 45 year olds that think theyíre young! [laughs] Iíve seen older men and women still try to be young. Thereís nothing wrong with it. As long as you have a sense of humor, like good music with a nice feel to it thatís not violent all the damn time, then Redemption is what you should listen to.
Whoís on the album?
I didnít go crazy with features. The only features on the album are Doro--which is on ďSmile and WaveĒ and Colby OíDonis with the next single, ďI Go Crazy.Ē I need to redeem myself and I need the world to get to know Huey. I donít want everybody saying, ďThis song is hard! T.I. killed it! Dro killed it!Ē Or whoever. Iím not knocking them, but the next album will have features. What Iím trying to do right now is to get yíall to listen to me. I need yíall to know that Huey can go.
Is there anything you felt we didnít discuss that you want people to know?
I think we hit everything! You can always remember ďPop, Lock and Drop It,Ē but donít label me as that. Listen to the things I have to say on this album and mixtapes Iím looking forward to releasing in the future. Follow me on Twitter @Huey314. You can find me on Myspace www.myspace.com/huey314 and Facebook. Check out my official site too - www.hueyomg.com. Iím on my Twitter sh*t now! Itís easier and you can do it wherever youíre at. It comes straight to my phone.Itís one button to push and I see everything thatís going on on Twitter. If I tweet, it hits my Myspace and Facebook as well. You never know what Iím going to be talking about, so letís get it in!