“Success is a journey, it’s not a destination”. These are words that Rick Hawkins, better known
by his moniker “Ricky Runway” lives by. Born in the mid nineteen-eighties in the rural town of South
Boston, Virginia and raised in the small town of Oxford, North Carolina, Ricky always knew there was
something that separated him from his peers. As a youth he was shy, but made a name for himself as a
standout performer. There was something about a stage that seemed to bring out his natural talent.
Originally a vocalist, Ricky began honing his skills at a very young age. From age seven and into
adulthood, he could always be found onstage, whether it be at school, church, local talent shows or
parties, and in high school and college he spent time in various groups, touring various regions in the
United States and the Caribbean. Attending North Carolina Central University (alma mater to the
critically acclaimed hip-hop duo Little Brother) as a vocal performance major, Ricky discovered his true
passion was in hip-hop and his lyricism. He began to ghostwrite, feature, and perform with a few of his
college friends, until circumstances led him quit school and move to Charlotte, North Carolina.
For his first year as a Charlotte transplant, Ricky kept to himself and decided that he would no
longer pursue music. That wouldn’t last long, as a chance meeting with Givenchy “Statz 441” Royal,
would begin to cement Ricky as a mainstay in the local hip-hop market.
Under the stage name “Preshuh” (due to the force in which his presence brought to a track), he
began singing hooks on various projects, and even spent a short time as a hype man for Statz 441 and the
rest of the roster for which was then Swerve Music Group. Content with being back in the music scene,
Ricky never mentioned the fact that he was a lyricist. After a writing session with Statz and fellow
Floridan artist Gutta Mouf, during the Southern Entertainment Awards in 2009, Ricky revealed his lyrical
prowess and was welcomed into the fold.
“I didn’t even know the dude could rap,” Statz 441 would later reveal in an interview after a
performance in Virginia. “He always kept it quiet. Then again, I guess we never asked.”
As Swerve Music began to dissolve in mid 2009, Ricky began to flourish into a pure lyricist and
a businessman. Teaming with Statz 441, and their management team, they founded FRATT House
Entertainment as a means to productively distribute music and promote local artistry. Deciding to drop
the nickname “Preshuh”, he adopted the pseudonym “Ricky Flash”. “Flash” was eventually dropped
and “Runway” was ushered in as a metaphor for elevation.
Sighting musical influences such as Outkast, Little Brother, Joe Budden, Lupe Fiasco, Kanye
West, Jadakiss, Juvenile, Busta Rhymes, Michael Jackson and Johnny Cash, Ricky Runway offers fans
braggadocios, yet a vulnerable and optimistic and sometimes comedic sound which has molded him into
an artist like no other. Evidence of his unabashed honesty, narrative lyricism, and humor can be found on
various tracks such as “All Night Long”, “Michael Jordan”, “Let Em Know”, “Doggystyle”, and a
plethora of various freestyles, features and collaborations. As he prepares for his first solo project “Sky
Music” there seems to be no limit to the star power of this young entertainer.