The single "Made It Happen" by Runway Richy has been buzzin' heavy in and out of ATL the known music mecca of the US. The Decatur, GA native stopped by 66 Raw and gave the world more insight to who Runway Richy is and what they have to expect.
With nowhere to go but up, Decatur, GA rapper Runway Richy has crafted his rocky journey into a catalog of street tales – songs that speak to those struggling for a better way. With a support system of Atlanta music veterans, including DJ Holiday and The Commission, Richy has a solid foundation today, but this wasn’t always the case.
Richy began freestyling in school at a young age, noticeably outshining the competition. “Music has always been in my blood,” he says, “but it wasn’t until later I thought about being an artist.” In his early rap career, Richy was known as Snipe in the group Murder Mafia, which later renamed to Born With It.
Over the years, rhyming was something to do in between dealing with “real life” situations – situations that often brought trouble. “I’m the one who had one foot in the streets and one in the booth,” he remembers. “My peers from Crime Mobb to DJ holiday to B.o.B. were all becoming successful in music. So I always felt like I was going to make it by default.”
He soon learned it wasn’t as easy as it looked. “Unfortunately, these same peers never took me serious because I was always getting locked up,” he admitted.
Being in and out of jail wiped away several prime opportunities. B.o.B. was featured on the Born Wit It record “Stack Your Paper” produced by DJ Toomp. The song leaked and created a huge buzz. “At the time, Toomp was working with Kanye and wanted to meet us when he got back from NY. The next week I was locked up for 6 months.”
Eventually the group lessened from four members, to three, to two, until Snipe found himself recreating his image as a solo artist. He began recording new material as Runway Richy, but found it difficult making a comeback in music after serving time.
“I had about 8 records when my manager KD took interest,” he recalls. “We was about to release my debut mixtape in the summer of 2012. I got into the car with the wrong person and just like that, I was gone for 8 months on a probation violation.”
“After that I woke up and said, no more. I literally did nothing but music. I was so broke at times and I swear God was testing me – all of a sudden everybody had a lick for me. But I stayed focused.”
In 2013, he released his debut solo mixtape “Uh Oh” hosted by DJ Holiday. The tape featured FKi, B.o.B., Scotty ATL, Playboy Tre, Gorilla Zoe, and Trae da Truth, to name a few. The music was honest and reflective, with songs like “Letter to God” and “Ups & Downs” resonating with listeners. “My music is for the poor, but appeals to the rich and vice versa,” he says.
Following up with his sophomore tape, Richy works with Dj Scream , Dj Tokars , and Dj Tephlon for the 2015 release “ForeignAmerican,” executive produced by FKI. Leading songs included “Keep Getting It” and “How You Feeling” featuring Big Gipp, which were featured on MTV Jams. “100 Bandz” featuring Young Dro and B.o.B. received full rotation in London on Bang Radio. Other notable contributions came from Bandit Gang Marco, Zuse, Spodee and Myko Montana.
In addition to tape promotions, Richy and his team put together numerous show appearances. To date, he has performed on Beer & Tacos stages, as well as SXSW multiple times, A3C Festival, a Street Execs showcase and several more. Presently, Richy has several projects in the works such as “GreenCard,” a joint effort with Zuse; and “China Cafeteria .”
With momentum building quickly, music has Richy’s complete attention, and he appreciates the hard lessons learned. “Every feature, every look, every accolade I’ve received on this journey has been God’s work and I truly believe it.”
Meals are perhaps the most important aspect of prison life. They keep inmates alive, both physically and emotionally, as mess halls and common areas provide a level of social interaction in an otherwise lonely situation. Albert “Prodigy” Johnson served three and a half years in prison, and during that time his focus was on his health—an almost impossible feat behind bars, where many inmates often enter the prison system healthy, but leave with diabetes and hypertension. Commissary Kitchen provides a deeper perspective of what it’s like to consume meals in prison. While recipes are provided, Prodigy and writer Kathy Iandoli also tell various anecdotes about situations in prison involving food. Meal prep in prison is very limited, so while this work appeals to anyone who has served time or is curious about prison life, it also speaks to those who prepare food with limited access to various cooking luxuries (i.e. college students in dorms being one). While the work is informational, above all it humanizes the prison experience in a way that has never been done before.
Albert “Prodigy” Johnson is a Multi-Platinum recording artist and member of the legendary Hip-Hop duo Mobb Deep. In 2006, Prodigy was arrested for gun possession and served a three-year prison term. In 2011, he released his first memoir, the critically acclaimed My Infamous Life. Since then, Prodigy has continued to release both solo projects and albums through Mobb Deep, touring worldwide. When he isn’t touring, Prodigy is traveling the United States, lecturing at venues like MIT about the prison system and offering insight on changing the quality of inmates’ lives.
Kathy Iandoli is a critically acclaimed journalist and author. Her work has appeared in publications such as Pitchfork, VICE, Maxim, Cosmopolitan, The Village Voice, Rolling Stone, Billboard, and many others. She is also a professor of Music Business at New Jersey City University in Jersey City, New Jersey.