NLE Choppa is a wildly energetic and charitable rapper who hails from Memphis, Tennessee.
The rapper has already developed quite the buzz with one of his latest videos “Shotta Flow” racking up over 10 million views in little over a month along with a bit of controversy surrounding the video’s imagery of firearms.
At such a young age, it’s already clear that NLE Choppa is putting in the work to shift and redefine what it means to be a young artist in the game.
First, I’d like to know what exactly does NLE Choppa mean? How did you decide that name for yourself?
NLE stands for No Love Entertainment. Just showing no love, took that part of myself and turned it into a brand. Choppa just a name people back home call me.
How did you get your start in music? What inspired you to want to create?
The people around me. Everyone around me was making music, my friends, my neighbors. I remember I was writing to this beat, and I was just like “Damn, I need to record this.” So, I went to the studio, and it was a wrap from there.
What do you think you bring to music that makes you different from other artists?
A whole lot of energy.
I can see that a lot in your videos. When I was watching them, I felt really energized afterward.
I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing then.
What goals do you have in mind when it comes to your career. Is there a clear end goal for you at this point?
I just want to walk away from this whole experience knowing that I built something for myself and my family. I just wanna feel like I was the best I could be. I want to build an empire.
Do you have any hobbies outside of music?
Basketball. I love to hoop.
Who are your favorite artists at the moment that influence your music?
NBA Youngboy, Meek Mill and [Lil] Durk.
How do you feel when you’re performing live? What’s going through your head right before you get on stage and during the performance?
I don’t really have no prep. I just grab the mic and go. It’s a really good feeling especially when the crowd knows the lyrics and stuff. When they not just watching but they actually like turning up with me, keeps me kinda energized through the show.
It’s a feeling that you can’t really explain. Just feels good. It’s unbelievable.
Do you have any venues in mind that you would love to perform at?
I just wanna perform on stage with a lot of people. Don’t really matter where.
Are there any countries that you’d like to perform in?
Probably in Canada or the UK. They show a lot of love and I got a big following out there.
One of your recent videos “Shotta Flow” has caused a little controversy with its images of guns. Why did you want the guns in the video? Was there a statement to be made?
There wasn’t really no statement to be made, that’s just how life is in Memphis. I wasn’t like, “yeah I’ma put these guns in this video to send a warning to so and so.” Wasn’t nothing like that, that’s just everyday life where I’m from. I’m just showing the home I know.
Do you have a favorite genre of music outside of Hip Hop?
Reggae. I love Bob Marley’s music. The only person I really listen to. A little bit of Shabba Ranks sometimes, but I mostly listen to Bob Marley.
What’s the craziest thing that’s happened to you since you developed some star power?
I think when I performed at this school and when I was walking back to the car these girls were just banging on the car begging me to let the window down. They was rocking the whole car.
How did that make you feel?
It was just like “Woah.” That’s one of the moments I was talking about where it was just like unbelievable. Like I didn’t even know how I got to that point, it was crazy.
Building off of the idea of rising star power and fame, I can imagine that there might be some concerns with the people around you and how genuine their friendship or loyalty might be, or with things such as finances and the stress of traveling. Do you have any of these concerns right now?
Nah, not really. I only allow people around me that I know. With that, I don’t really gotta be concerned, because I already know who they are and that they around because they wanna support me. I’m not finna add any more people. I don’t need to right now.
How are you hoping to evolve as an artist?
Really just keep on working and see where it goes from there. Just keep on working and building so I can work even harder in the future. That’s all I want from myself.
I heard that you’re really interested in charity work and helping people. Can you tell me a little about that?
I really just like to see people being the best they can be. I feel like if I got a blessing, then it’s up to me to share that blessing with the world any way I can with other people less fortunate with me.
What motivates you to wanna help people?
I really don’t know. It’s just something I do from the heart. There ain’t really no reason. I just know that after I help somebody and I see it made a difference, I feel good. I understand that a lot of people aren’t as fortunate as others. It’s just instinctual for me. I don’t know who I picked it up from, but I love to do it a lot.
What do you want people to know about you through your music and everything you put out? What do you want people to see about you?
Well, everything I want people to see I pretty much put in my music and my videos. I use music as a platform to express myself. Everything I put out is me, the me I want people to see.
Do you have a dream collaboration?
What about producers?
You’re 16, and it’s around that time where other people your age are maybe beginning to think about the possibility of going to college. Is higher education something that you’re interested in pursuing?
Yeah, I want to. Well, I don’t want to, but I know I need it. I know the advantages of it. I just kinda wanna go and get it over with.
What would you wanna study?
Business. I wanna have the right skill and information to be able to take care of what I built. I’d like to be in Florida or something. It’s nice down there.