We were able to catch up with Choppa for “12 Days of Christmas,” and the Memphis native shed light on his forthcoming album “Me vs. Me,” working with Moneybagg Yo and Young Thug on the record, having a sober mind, and why no one will be “blocking [his] blessings” in 2022.
Scheduling a time to catch up with NLE Choppa wasn’t an easy feat. It wasn’t for the lack of effort— Choppa just happens to be in the top tier of rising artists and he is understandably busy with making music, giving back to his community, and educating the masses on his lessons of wellness. Earlier this week, the Memphis native returned to his hometown for the Black Men Crowned Awards, a ceremony that highlights the business and charitable efforts of local Black men in the city. With a smile across his face, Choppa presented a high school senior with the Young King Award scholarship of $5,000.
This is the legacy that the 19-year-old, real name Bryson Potts, has been mapping out beyond music. It is difficult to simply speak about the “Shotta Flow” hitmaker within the boundaries of his music career because, with equal fervor, Choppa takes to social media with the hopes of enlightening a generation. He has playfully been referred to as “NLE Chakra” by Jack Harlow but Choppa takes his journey quite seriously. From stating that he helped cure someone of cancer to praising Kyrie Irving’s anti-vaccination stance to becoming an herbalist who pushes his remedies, this is a young rapper that is focused on spreading his message.
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Still, Choppa is an artist who has been a voice for his generation in the streets of Memphis. You can find him tweeting about meditation one moment and then flashing cash while dropping bars the next. Last year, Choppa released his debut studio album Top Shotta as well as his From Dark to Light mixtape, and as he readies a new project, he promises to deliver a collection of tracks that focuses on “the growth that I’ve shown musically,” he says.
For this edition of our 12 Days of Christmas countdown, Choppa squeezed in some time in his busy schedule and spoke with us briefly about Me vs. Me, his upcoming album that was pushed to January 14 from its original December 17 release date, casting vision for 2022, working with Moneybagg Yo and Young Thug, and the shifts he’s experienced since going sober.
This interview has been slightly edited for clarity.
HNHH: Thank you so much for speaking with us today. I know you’re busy, so let’s get right into it. Your sophomore studio album, Me vs. Me, is on the horizon. What can fans expect from Choppa this time around?
NLE Choppa:Me vs. Me is, pretty much, a project concept I’ve been wanting to get out for a long time. I chose a few old songs and I chose a lot more newer songs so that people can see the growth that I’ve shown musically. At the same time, I’m still speaking on the same topics of what my core fans like to hear from me.
What’s the growth from last year’sFrom Dark to Light to Me vs. Me?
It’s really two different types of tapes. This tape is for my core fans, so I’m not really speaking on anything that is enlightening on this tape. My mindset has definitely changed because I’m a sober mind now. I don’t do any drugs. So, I’m probably talking about the same things as my old self would talk about, but it’s more advanced.
Will you have any features or will you be flying solo on this one?
I have a few features. I’ve got a Moneybagg Yo feature, a Young Thug feature, and the rest I feel like it will just be revealed when it drops.
What was it like being in the studio with the likes of Moneybagg and Thugger?
It’s huge, especially the Moneybagg one because it’s something that I feel like I was doing for my city of Memphis because we’re both from the same city.
Going back to you having a sober mind and approaching your career differently, what has that looked like in 2020, 2021, and leading up to 2022? Because we’re still in this pandemic but throughout that time, you’ve continued to make music while teaching wellness, herbal remedies, etc. How is that personal evolution going to impact your 2022?
I feel like it’s just going to bring in more blessings. I feel like I’m living for God and not for myself. I just feel like I’m very prepared for what the future holds for me because I’m only getting better and better and evolving more and more.
Have you experienced any obstacles since being so vocal about being sober as a rapper? Have there been any pushbacks from Hip Hop fans or even from your peers?
Not really. I just know what life is now. If it’s a setback, it was meant to be a setback. I just know everything has a meaning and a purpose for it. Once you analyze what it is, why this is happening right now, who’s around me that’s blocking my blessings from me….once you analyze situations like that, it creates a stronger and more balanced type of life for you.
I know that you worked with 50 Cent on “Part of the Game” [ft. Rileyy Lanez]. He’s known for mentoring and pouring into younger artists. Was there any kind of advice that you received from him about navigating the longevity of your career?
He just had a talk with me as far as just staying out of trouble. As long as I’m staying out of trouble, I’m going to be good because I’ve already got my head on my shoulders. As long as I’m just staying out of harm’s way of the law, I’m good.
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In casting visions for next year or even the year after, what can your fans and the industry, in general, expect from NLE Choppa musically?
Be one of the biggest artists to date, for sure. Just off the simple fact of the work that I’m putting in behind the scenes and how much stuff I’m doing. I want to be one of those ones. When you bring up the top rappers, I’m going to be in that category. I’m going to be in that conversation.
Are there artists that you have yet to collaborate with or work with that you’re looking forward to getting in some studio time?
I want to work with Drake and I know it’s coming. It’s coming.
“I want to work with Drake and I know it’s coming. It’s coming.”
What kind of energy would you like to bring to that collaboration? Drake has so many different ways that he approaches music.
I can rap on anything, so I guess whatever just comes about when the time comes.
Photo By HNHH
Being a Memphis native and everything that’s happened recently with Dolph, what advice would you give to your peers that aren’t in the industry but from your own hometown that are grieving that loss and experiencing that heaviness?
The best thing to take away from that is, first and foremost, his family is forever paid. His kids are forever taken care of. Just celebrate his life. That’s something that a lot of people haven’t done ever or will ever do. So, I’m just celebrating his life. That’ll help get over a grieving state. Death is supposed to be celebrated.
That’s a more optimistic and positive outlook. Thanks so much for your time.
No problem at all. Thank you.