By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Steve Brennan
By Joseph Hess
By Allsion Babka
By Kelsey McClure
By RFT Music
By Christian Schaeffer
By Gabriel San Roman
Was Rapper Huey a Target?
A concert at the Pageant on Sunday, May 17, featured performances by virtually every nationally known hip-hop artist from St. Louis, including local legend Nelly and his crew, the St. Lunatics.
But as the near-sellout crowd filed into the Delmar Loop venue, they were informed that 21-year-old St. Louis rapper Huey, best known for his 2007 hit single, "Pop, Lock & Drop It," had been scratched from the lineup at the last minute.
According to the concert's promoter and organizer, Huey was asked to not perform because he may have been the target of a triple homicide that occurred in downtown St. Louis earlier this month.
In that incident, three men were gunned down at the intersection of 18th and Market streets at about 2:30 a.m. on Friday, May 8. They had just left a concert by rapper Yo Gotti at Club Society, located near St. Louis Union Station, and were idling at a stoplight when another car pulled up alongside them and fired multiple times, killing them instantly.
DJ AJ of St. Louis radio station KATZ the Beat (100.3 FM), the organizer and promoter of Sunday's show, says the decision to remove Huey from the bill was made on Saturday night when Pageant management told him that St. Louis police believe Huey (real name: Lawrence Franks Jr.) was in the vicinity of the May 8 drive-by.
"I had no idea his name was even being thrown around on good side or bad side," AJ says. "He was supposedly a car behind, or two cars behind, the car that got shot up. The police are saying he was the intended target."
Schron Jackson, a spokeswoman for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, ruled out Huey as a suspect in the case, but offered no further details and would not comment about whether the rapper was the intended victim.
"Nobody on the bill, or that was scheduled to be on the bill on Sunday night, is a suspect in the triple homicide," Jackson says. "I'm very limited about what I can say about the case because it's an ongoing investigation."
Police have yet to make an arrest in connection with the shooting, and Jackson says she is unsure if detectives have any suspects.
Pageant manager Pat Hagin declined to comment when asked if he spoke with police about the investigation.
"All I know is the organizers pulled him from the bill," Hagin says. "Anything done that night by the promoters and the venue was basically a safety concern."
Huey could not be reached for comment. Neither his booking agency nor representatives from his label, Jive Records, returned phone messages inquiring about their client's connection to the shooting.
May I.E. Millstone Rest in Peace
Am I the only one who, when I'm of a mind to plumb the deepest recesses of the human soul, pulls up the ol' Web browser and types in s-t-l-t-o-d-a-y-d-o-t-c-o-m?
Bear with me.
As I type this, I.E. Millstone, construction magnate, philanthropist, Jewish St. Louis favorite son, is still "missing," having dropped from sight May 16, apparently after taking some anti-anxiety medication that disagreed with him. He's believed to have jumped or fallen from the Daniel Boone Bridge into the Missouri River.
And oh, yeah, he's 102 years old.
I'm shooting for a graceful segue here, but damned if I can think of one. (When it comes to construction, I'm obviously not the writerly match of I.E. Millstone's bricks-and-mortar abilities.)
On Sunday, beneath a story by St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Nicholas J.C. Pistor, commenter "lucyvogt" dropped this bomb:
"As I drove over the bridge I saw this man with his head down on the railing of the bridge and then as I started to pass and thinking to myself 'I wish I was in the slow lane, this man must be sick and I could stop and help him,' I saw him climb to the railing and then to the top and as he stood straight up all I could do was grab my cell phone and honk.... Why did I have to see this and not be able to help? I cried and called 911.... I cried all day over why I had to see something like this and could not have stopped to help the man...."
Other comments left beneath the various Millstone stories at stltoday.com are, shall we say, less introspective. You've got your sympathy bytes, your "Hopefully, Mr. Millstone will be found safe and sound," your "[M]y thoughts and prayers are with the family...."
You've got your skeptical "He was 102 and got from where to the Daniel Boone Bridge? It seems a little strange to think the two things are related without there being something being slightly 'off'...."
And your brass-tacks "God bless him, quite a man to jump off a bridge @ 102."
And, of course, your cynical "Clearly the husband did it."
This being stltoday.com, things get curiouser. Ergo: "Why should God 'bless' him? Isn't suicide a Commandment Violation?..."
And this from not-infrequent local political candidate (and former RFT advice columnist!) Bill Haas, who is nothing if not introspective: "...After a certain age, shouldnt we have a right to go as and when we choose without the lonely way Mr. Millstone chose? ...And for an update on my situation, for anyone interested, life could be better, but I try to get joy every day and am handling it."
One commenter weighed in to reassure "lucyvogt": "Lucy please don't feel guilty. It's pretty clear that he was determined to do what he did. I highly doubt anything you would have said/done would have stopped him...."
But this being the Post comments thread, the fuzzy warmth soon gave way to a feller who goes by "bigboy5": "102 and jumps to an obvious death. why are we spending tax dollars to search for at least a week for the body? its fish food. save the public some dough. search should be called off after 24 hours. who knows how far downstream it is."
Which was soon followed by "VCDaedalus," who imparted that "...[o]ne administrator of a retirement community told me that she had to completely evaluate her new residents, because many of them were taking two and three prescriptions too many.... Perhaps Mr. Millstone wanted to die that way. Out in the open, quick, a brief time where you might even feel like you were flying...."
Still, this weren't no happy ending. So we'll conclude this stroll down Comment Thread Lane with the eloquence of "hitekredneck": "hey bigboy5, go ##### yourself you lowlife scumbag. i have an idea,why dont YOU jump off a bridge and become fish food...oopps,sorry, any fish with any sense wouldnt want anything to do with your rotten piece of ##### corpse."