The Break Presents: Runway Richy
Ever since dropping "Made It Happen" featuring Trae Tha Truth, Runway Richy's name has been popping up more and more in hip-hop conversations across the internet. The New Orleans born, Decatur, Ga.-raised rapper has been putting in work for the last couple of years but things are finally starting to take off for him.
From his 2015 project, Foreign Merican, to 2016's China Cafeteria, his growth sonically is apparent. For China Cafeteria, Runway recruited ATL hitmakers such as FKi, Southside, Metro Boomin and Zaytoven, among others, to handle production while Lil Donald, Casino and SauceLord Rich (of FKi) showed up as guest appearances. The 17-track project showcased his gritty southern vocals and bold attitude. "You know I'm a renegade, I ain't finna play/These niggas ain't official tissue they just bitch made," he raps on "Made Niggaz."
Early last year, Runway got into a near-fatal car accident on the highway while he was on his way to promote China Cafeteria. Runway's truck flipped over three times and he was ejected from the vehicle. Since then, the southern rapper has attacked life and music with 100 percent of his time and energy. One of his first records since the accident was "Made It Happen" and it's currently one of the biggest songs in his discography. “Every time someone told me no I can’t do it, I found a way to make it happen,” he tells XXL over the phone.
With China Cafeteria 2.5 on the way, Runway Richy's goal for 2017 is to increase his fan base and "get closer to the light at the end of the tunnel."
"God has been aligning the stars for me and everything is coming together," he adds. "2017 is going to make 2018 better and 2018 is going to make 2019 better and so on."
Pay attention to Runway Richy.
Hometown: Born in New Orleans, raised in Decatur, Ga.
I grew up listening to: “Being from New Orleans, I listened to everything. My mom and dad they had Parliament, Kool & The Gang. My uncle introduced me to rap music, N.W.A and all that kind of stuff. Growing up in New Orleans, it was all kinds of music. You hear people beating on the drums or someone playing the drums. As I grew up I still appreciated classics, Soulja Slim, 2Pac, Biggie, Tity Boi; I’ve been a fan of 2 Chainz since his Tity Boi days. I used to tell people back in the day, 'This boy Tity Boi is snapping.'
"I started rapping probably like 11 years old in school, beating on the lunch table and started freestyling and stuff like that. I guess that was my entry into in hip-hop. I always took music seriously but I always had my foot in the streets. I started taking rapping seriously probably like four years ago when I changed my name to Runway Richy. The reason why [I changed my name] was because everyone around me was either getting locked up or killed, I just wanted to be better for myself.
"When I got into that car accident that’s when I put everything into music because I’m not supposed to be here. My car flipped over three, four times. I flew out the car on the highway. I couldn’t walk for a couple of months so I had to learn how to walk again. I had screws in my legs and my back, a plate in my leg, all kinds of stuff. That right there woke me up. That time I sat in the hospital it helped me reflect. It was people who came in with the same type of crash and they’re dead or suffered brain damage. That’s when I said God put me here for a reason and [music] is the reason. I’m 100 percent in."
My style’s been compared to: “I heard J. Cole a bunch of times, J. Cole and Kendrick. Also Big Gipp from Goodie Mob also tells me I remind him of Pimp C. UGK is one of my favorite artists. So being compared to Pimp C is one of the biggest compliments.
"But I really feel like Runway Richy is Runway Richy. I don’t put myself in the box with anything. I try to experiment on everything. I think my sound is my sound. It may have similarities here and there to other people but that’s music. I really can’t pinpoint my sound. I’m just myself. Music is me and I love it. Don’t be surprise if I pick up a guitar one day [laughs]."
Most people don’t know: “I like to laugh, I like to have fun, I’m a funny guy. I’m not always serious. I seen a lot of serious things in my life. I’ve been in serious situations but that doesn’t steer my attitude. I like to smile, I like to laugh, and I like to see other laugh. I don’t let a lot of people see that side but once you get to know me, you get to see the real me."
My standout records and/or moments to date have been: “'I’ll Be There,' on my new project coming out, China Cafeteria 2.5. It’s a real touchy song for me because, one, it’s about one of my homeboys he got killed. I started doing the record thinking about him and it was really just me pouring myself out on that record. I just did the first verse and I was about to leave. Before I was about to leave, my homie said they just found Peanut Da Don dead. He was one of the newest members of Hustle Gang. We were cool. He would come to the studio and kick it and we started working on a project.
"When that happened I told myself I’m about to finish 'I’ll Be There”' and I started recording the second verse. My manager called and asked did I hear what happened to Peanut. I was in the booth when [my manager] called and I picked up the phone. That part where you hear me talking to my manager on the song is real. That’s one of my standouts right now. And of course 'Made it Happen.'
My goal in hip-hop is: “M goal in music is to provide for my daughter, her family and keeping the legacy going. I want to be known as somebody. If you search me, I’ve been putting in work for a minute. When I make it. I want people to feel my win with me."
I’m going to be the next: “Icon, because an icon can change the world; Michael Jackson was an icon. His music changed the world. That’s what I want. I want to know for someone who helps people make it through hard times. It ain’t even about the wealth, it’s more about the status and what icons achieve."
Standouts: "Made It Happen"
"Keep Getting It"
40 Hip-Hop Albums Turning 20 in 2017