Portrait of HAWK by Peter Beste


Big Hawk


Everybody was shocked at Hawk's murder. Anyone who knew him knew that he wasn't a man who made trouble or enemies. It was his brother Fat Pat that brought him to Screw's house (which became a safe-haven for so many Black boys and men) to rap and eventually join the Screwed Up Click. Hawk was everybody's go-to in the click -- whether they needed guidance and leadership or verses and hooks. Between the release of his first solo album in 2000 (called Under Hawk's Wings) and his untimely death in 2006, Hawk was one of S.U.C.'s most prolific rappers.

-- Josie Pickens, professor, writer and culture critic


John Edward Hawkins, born in 1969, was the older brother of Fat Pat. Known as "Big Hawk" or simply "HAWK," he followed Pat to Screw's house and also became a popular rapper and member of the Screwed Up Click. HAWK appeared on many of DJ Screw's mixtapes, released a series of solo albums, and contributed numerous features to other artists' songs.

HAWK was highly regarded in the hip hop community. Prior to becoming a full-time rapper, he had worked at American General Insurance Company. He was a family man, husband to Meshah Henderson Hawkins and father to two sons, Tahj and Koran. Following the death of DJ Screw, he worked to keep the Screwed Up Click together, becoming known as the Five Star General. He also mentored younger rappers.



HAWK, Under HAWK's Wings flyer

Gift of SoSouth

Under HAWK's wings was HAWK's first solo album, released on Dead End Records.




HAWK Game Face Poster

Gift of White Tim

This poster features the cover image from HAWK's self-titled second album, which was released by HAWK's label Ghetto Dreams Entertainment and Game Face entertainment. It included HAWK's biggest solo hit, the laid-back "You Already Know," often referred to by fans as "Chillin' With My Broad."

Pages from notebook of handwritten lyrics by HAWK, Gift of Meshah Hawkins


Unlike other members of the Screwed Up Click, HAWK was primarily a writer rather than a freestyler or improviser. When composing lyrics for a song, he often jotted down clouds of rhyming words in one of his many notebooks.

In metallic gel ink on its black pages, HAWK wrote out the sixteen bars that make up a typical rap verse. Some pages of the notebook show sets of rhyming words that he was considering for a song or lists for screw tapes. Others capture the activities of HAWK's everyday life, from phone numbers of friends to scores for domino games.

Who Murdered Big HAWK poster, Gift of Meshah Hawkins

HAWK, Endangered Species CD, Ghetto Dreams Entertainment

Obituary (memorial service program) for HAWK, Gift of Meshah Hawkins


In 2006, tragedy struck the Hawkins family a second time when HAWK was murdered outside a friend's home. The crime remains unsolved.

HAWK's final album Endangered Species was released shortly after his death. A number of previously recorded verses have been released in the years since then, and HAWK was sampled on Travis Scott's hit album, Astroworld.


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