Of all the teenage rappers bursting onto the scene, NLE Choppa possibly has the highest ceiling. The 16-year-old grew up in Memphis and he’s got all the right tools to become a household name in the future. When he first started gaining some buzz online, people pegged him as the latest industry plant but he ended up proving his doubters wrong, showing that he can be different from those that he regularly gets compared to. Choppa brings his street smarts to the table, unleashing lethal bars with a ferocity that is rare among today’s younger rappers. He flexes aggressivity in his bars, menacing the listener and daring them to mess with him. Despite his general inexperience in life, his passion brings him leaps and bounds ahead of other upstarts. NLE Choppa stopped by our office to feature on the latest episode of On The Come Up, where he spoke about everything from his education, his friends in high places, and his No Love Entertainment imprint.
We all know Memphis as one of the most potent hubs for hip-hop evolution. Some of the greats have called it home and NLE Choppa might just be the next big name to emerge from Tennessee. When he came through the office, Choppa was excited to speak about how he got to this point. He explained that he’s part of a big family, growing up with two brothers and a sister. He played basketball as a youngin and in his own words, he used to get in a lot of trouble for fighting. Finding music in Grade Nine, he ended up dropping out of school. Choppa had trouble waking up in the morning and finding the strength to head to class but he does intend on completing his GED in the coming years.
The teenage sensation found music to be his happy place, working independently and ensuring that he becomes his own boss. “Music, I feel like, is an independent thing,” Choppa told us. “You don’t really have to take no orders from anybody. It’s just you.” Freedom has remained a priority for NLE Choppa, who is adamant about staying grounded and getting a lot of the business side done himself. He and his No Love Entertainment colleagues are known for working solo mostly, using their own resources to find success and strive in this cutthroat industry. In the next ten years, Choppa wants to do more of the same.
“Just gotta boss up,” says the young star about where he wants to be next decade. By working with people like Birdman and Juvenile on their joint album, he’s already mingling with the right folks. That union happened organically too with Choppa looking back on it with positivity. “I was in the studio and Birdman, he had flew me to Miami. We was just linking. Birdman was like, ‘I got a song I want you on’ and I was like ‘Send me the open verse,'” remembers Choppa. Once he heard the song, he knew it was meant to be.
Of course, if you’re a fan of the 16-year-old, you likely found him through “Shotta Flow.” NLE Choppa explains that he knew the song was going to do big things for him but that he never could have predicted his growth. “It was just a real turnt song that I had freestyled to,” said Choppa. “The freestyle went viral so I felt like I had to put it out fast. I knew it was gonna do something but I didn’t know it was gonna do that.”
Keep up with NLE Choppa and stay tuned for what he’s got coming this year. Follow our On The Come Up playlist below to find out more about some of the newer artists on the rise this year.