NLE Choppa: Memphis’ 17-Year-Old Rap Star

With the digital era changing the way fans consume music, artists alike are exploding into popularity from the tips of their fingers. One Memphis artist, in particular, is turning their poise and charismatic lifestyle into a viral triumph with the release of every song—insert 17-year-old rapper NLE Choppa.

Choppa, real name Bryson Potts, was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. Home to rappers like Yo Gotti and Key Glock, who appeared in our February issue. NLE Choppa described the streets of Memphis as “rugged.” Choppa attended Cordova High School for a while, taking interest in rap at the age of 14. Eventually, he left school to pursue a rap career, which worked out in his favor. “It’s grimy, you gotta know how to hustle. It’s tough for sure,” he states.

Choppa captured the attention of the masses at the top of 2019 with the release of his “Shotta Flow” effort. The braggadocios solo debut saw Choppa skating over the crisp keys, which proved to be a successful formula for his future releases. Since release, the video has garnered over 138M YouTube views. Furthermore, the record serves as his first Billboard Hot 100 entry, spending seven weeks on the charts. NLE reflects on the success of his debut, citing his core fans as the reason for his early triumph.

A large factor in NLE Choppa’s success and arguably one of his greatest supporters is none other than his mom. Angeleta, who has appeared in several interviews, has been his manager ever since he took an interest in music. “It’s tough and cool at the same time, but at the end of the day she’s my mama,” he states. Furthermore, Choppa emphasizes how their mother-son bond works. “You gotta know when she’s coming from a mother’s standpoint or a business standpoint. At the end of the day, we get stuff done.”

In mid-2019, NLE Choppa announced his signing to Warner Records after receiving many offers. The imprint entailed a joint venture between his label, No Love Entertainment. Subsequently, Choppa formerly introduced himself to the world with his Cottonwood EP. The album includes records like “Clicc Clacc” and “N.W.A,” boasting features from Blueface and Meek Mill. When looking back on that project, Choppa emphasizes that his major-label debut will top all of his previous drops.

Currently, NLE Choppa is preparing to share his much-awaited debut album, Top Shotta. “This is my first album so I know how important this is to my journey.” So far, the Memphis rapper has only shared two pre-release singles, including “Shotta Flow 5,” which amassed millions of views since release. “It’s going to be something different for sure, something my fans haven’t heard before.” He later recalls reaching out to Roddy Ricch last year their “Walk Em Down” standout cut. Choppa pointed out that the two knocked out the song that same night. Today, we arrive at his latest visual effort, “Narrow Road,” featuring Lil Baby.

Just in time for his debut album, NLE Choppa recently welcomed a beautiful baby girl into the world. “It’s been crazy, I’m extremely grateful,” Choppa states. Choppa described his newborn, named Clover Brylie Potts, as a blessing. “She’s just been keeping me busy, I really love everything about her.” Moreover, he wittingly jokes about how his new pit bull is like a second child to him. “I got two babies, I just got a puppy,” he laughs.

At just 17, NLE Choppa has proved to be one of the new generation’s most exciting artists, delivering perfect execution upon each release. His timely emergence into the music scene is followed by several timeless records that are globally recognized by many. “At this point, I’m just tryna be the best I can be,” he states. With a clear tunnel vision, Choppa acknowledges the desire for artists alike to be identified as a “GOAT” and so forth. “Once I do that, they can label me as whatever they want to.”

When asked the most important thing to his music career, Choppa simply responded with his fans. “They mean a lot. On my Twitter, I be reading damn near every comment. I try to take as many pictures and show as much love as I can because I know without them I wouldn’t be here.”

NLE Choppa’s debut album Top Shotta is slated to drop on August 7th via Warner Records. Follow the Memphis rapper on Instagram and Twitter and check out “Narrow Road” featuring Lil Baby below.

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