Bryson Lashun Potts (born November 1, 2002), known professionally as NLE Choppa (formerly YNR Choppa), is an American rapper from Memphis, Tennessee. He rose to fame with his January 2019 single "Shotta Flow", which was certified platinum by the RIAA and peaked at number 36 on the Billboard Hot 100. The single was featured on his debut EP Cottonwood.
|Also known as|
|Born||November 1, 2002|
Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
Potts released his debut studio album Top Shotta (2020) which peaked at number 10 on the US Billboard 200 and contained the singles "Camelot" and "Walk Em Down" (featuring Roddy Ricch), which peaked at number 38 on the Hot 100. His second mixtape From Dark to Light was released on November 1, 2020, his 18th birthday.
Potts was born to a Jamaican mother and an Nigerian father. He was raised in Memphis, Tennessee in the Parkway Village area, and also was enrolled in Cordova High School where he played basketball. He began freestyling with friends at the age of 14 and started taking music seriously at 15.
2018–2019: Beginnings, breakthrough, record deal, and CottonwoodEdit
NLE Choppa's manager is his mother, Angela Potts, who has been managing him since he started expressing an interest in rap music. He released his first song, "No Love Anthem", in February 2018 under the name YNR Choppa. On July 22, he released his debut mixtape, No Love the Takeover. In December, he appeared on "No Chorus Pt. 3", a cypher-style song by his Shotta Fam collective. His opening verse and his dance moves in the accompanying music video made him stand out from the group, earning him an online buzz.
After the surge of popularity, he released his breakout single "Shotta Flow". The video reached 10 million views in a month. A few days after its release, Pitchfork highlighted the track as its Song of the Day, praising his energetic delivery and adding that "he hits a new dance move every time the camera cuts back to him". The song entered the Billboard Hot 100 in May 2019, debuting at number 96. It later peaked at number 36. The official remix, featuring Blueface and a Cole Bennett-directed music video, was released in June, shortly after the original song was certified platinum by the RIAA.
In February, he released the song's sequel, "Shotta Flow 2". The video received 20 million views within two months, prompting Carl Lamarre from Billboard to say that his "recent dominance has silenced any detractors". It was around this time that it was reported that Choppa had sparked a bidding war between a handful of top record labels, with bids reaching a reported $3 million. He turned these offers down, from Republic Records,Interscope Records,Caroline, however, to instead sign with the independent distribution company, UnitedMasters, while keeping his master recordings and publishing. In March, he released a new single called "Capo", with the music video debuting on Worldstarhiphop. Also in March, he was featured on Birdman and Juvenile's song "Dreams". In April 2019, NLE released another single called "Birdboy", produced by SGULL.
In May, Choppa released a new single, "Blocc Is Hot", produced by ATL Jacob. It was made as a tribute to his favorite childhood rapper, Lil Wayne. A few days later, he made his music festival debut by performing at the Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis. Bob Mehr of The Commercial Appeal praised his act, saying that he "did much to seize the opportunity on the big stage in his hometown" and that "his career is likely to see plenty more memorable Memphis moments." On June 14, 2019, he released the single, "Free YoungBoy", produced by CashMoneyAP. The music video has achieved over 19 million views on YouTube. The title of this song is a reference to rapper YoungBoy Never Broke Again, who was arrested for shooting and because he violated his parole. This song was the first release from his own label No Love Entertainment (NLE), which he launched in partnership with Warner Records. According to Billboard magazine, No Love Entertainment is slated to release new music from NLE Choppa. On September 13, 2019, NLE Choppa released a new single titled "Camelot". The song peaked at number 37 in the US, becoming his second Top 40 hit, following "Shotta Flow".
On December 20, 2019, NLE Choppa released his debut extended play titled Cottonwood. The EP, named after the area he grew up in, features the previously released singles "Side" and his breakthrough hit "Shotta Flow" with its remix, featuring Blueface. The EP also consists of a collaboration with Meek Mill. To accompany the release of Cottonwood, a short film of the same name was released on the same day.
2020: Top Shotta and From Dark to LightEdit
NLE Choppa's debut studio album, Top Shotta was initially set for release in early 2020, and was preceded by multiple singles. On March 19, he released the album's lead single "Walk Em Down" with Roddy Ricch. On June 12, 2020, he released "Shotta Flow 5", the fifth sequel to his 2019 single "Shotta Flow". The single "Narrow Road" featuring Lil Baby released on July 30. One week later, on August 7, Top Shotta was released. On August 11, 2020, NLE Choppa was included on XXL's 2020 Freshman Class. On September 5, Choppa vowed to stop rapping about violence, stating he has more to talk about and wants to "spread positivity and wake people up". On October 15, he announced a new project titled From Dark to Light, which was released on November 1, his birthday. The mixtape's cover art sees him sitting with his legs crossed in an outside setting, with butterflies around him and a rainbow in the distance; a nod to his new spiritual journey. On October 23, NLE released the music video for his song, "Narrow Road" featuring Lil Baby. The music video has over 22 million views on YouTube.
In August 2020, NLE Choppa announced a planned release of "Shotta Flow 6", which will feature Lil Wayne, and supposed to be releasing soon. He also stated that he will make a Walk Em Down 2 that will feature Lil Durk.
NLE Choppa is noted for his "animated vocals" and energetic rapping, which he notably employed on his breakout single, "Shotta Flow". His sound has also been described as "melodic", albeit "heavy-hitting". Jessica McKinney of Complex magazine stated he usually has a "wild and rambunctious" delivery in his verses. As a child, he listened to UGK and Lil Wayne, however he recalls listening "to a lot of unreleased music all around the city" of Memphis.
On June 20, 2020, NLE Choppa welcomed his first child, a daughter named Clover Brylie Potts. He stated having a child on the way changed his mindset; "I knew I needed to change and be a better person for my daughter".
In August 2020, NLE Choppa gravitated towards a "spiritual" awakening on social media, launching a YouTube channel called "Awakened Choppa", where he documents his holistic and healthier lifestyle which includes veganism and gardening.
He has said he struggled with depression, and often raps about this in his music. He meditates in order to deal with mental health issues and the pressures of being a young entertainer. He was banned from Instagram in early 2020, something which he said "grounded" him.
During an unspecified time, NLE Choppa served time at a juvenile detention center. He has never revealed what he was arrested for, but he said his time in detention motivated him to turn his life around. In an episode of his YouTube series The Rise of NLE Choppa, he said that being in detention helped him a lot and was an "eye-opener".
- Top Shotta (2020)
- No Love the Takeover (2018)
- From Dark to Light (2020)
- Cottonwood (2019)
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- Pierre, Alphonse (January 15, 2019). "The Ones: NLE Choppa's 'Shotta Flow'". Pitchfork. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
- Zellner, Xander (May 1, 2019). "NLE Choppa Scores First Billboard Hot 100 Entry With 'Shotta Flow'". Retrieved May 7, 2019.
- "Blueface Assists NLE Choppa On The 'Shotta Flow' Remix". HotNewHipHop. June 20, 2019. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
- Lamarre, Carl (April 23, 2019). "Emerging Hip-Hop: NLE Choppa, Kiana Lede & Luh Kel Make Noise With Latest Chart Moves". Billboard. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
- Cirisano, Tatiana (February 13, 2019). "Memphis Rapper NLE Choppa Sparks $3 Million Label Bidding War: Exclusive". Billboard. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
- Cirisano, Tatiana (February 15, 2019). "Why 16-Year-Old Rapper NLE Choppa Turned Down a $3 Million Record Deal to Partner With UnitedMasters: Exclusive". Billboard. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
- "NLE Choppa – Capo". WORLDSTARHIPHOP. Retrieved November 16, 2019.
- Zidel, Alex (March 14, 2019). "Birdman & Juvenile Boost NLE Choppa With Dope New Single "Dreams"". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
- Saponara, Michael (May 3, 2019). "NLE Choppa & ATL Jacob Talk New Single 'Blocc Is Hot,' Wanting to Get Lil Wayne on the Remix". MSN. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
- Pierre, Milca (May 4, 2019). "NLE Choppa Returns On 'Blocc Is Hot'". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
- Mehr, Bob (May 5, 2019). "Memphis rapper NLE Choppa brings the party to Beale Street Music Festival". The Commercial Appeal. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
- Eggertsen, Chris (July 12, 2019). "NLE Choppa Launches Own Label in Partnership with Warner Records". Billboard. Retrieved July 30, 2019.
- "Watch NLE Choppa's Cole Bennett-Directed Video for "Camelot"". Complex. Retrieved October 7, 2019.
- "NLE Choppa Chart History: Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved March 31, 2020.
- Price, Joe (December 20, 2019). "NLE Choppa Drops 'Cottonwood' Project". Complex. Retrieved December 20, 2019.
- McKinney, Jessica (December 13, 2019). "NLE Choppa Spent Years Praying For Success—Now He Wants to Change Everyone's Lives". Complex. Retrieved December 20, 2019.
- "Album Drops August 7Th. Last Delay I Promise. I Just Want It Perfect". July 29, 2020. Retrieved July 29, 2020 – via @nlechoppa1 on Twitter (confirmed account).
- Rose, Jordan (June 12, 2020). "NLE Choppa Unleashes Video for New Track "Shotta Flow 5"". Complex. Retrieved June 13, 2020.
- "Narrow Road Ft @lilbaby4PF TOMORROW and ALBUM PRE ORDER 💜". July 29, 2020. Retrieved July 29, 2020 – via @nlechoppa1 on Twitter (confirmed account).
- Cline, Georgette (August 11, 2020). "XXL 2020 FRESHMAN CLASS REVEALED". XXL. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
- Tigg, FNR (September 6, 2020). "NLE Choppa Vows to Stop Rapping About Violence: 'I Got More To Talk About Now'". Complex. Retrieved October 15, 2020.
- Zidel, Alex (October 15, 2020). "NLE Choppa Announces New Project "From Dark To Light"". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved October 15, 2020.
- Ade. "NLE Choppa Biography Music Career". NetWorthBaze. Ade. Retrieved February 18, 2021.
- "NLE CHOPPA SAYS 'SHOTTA FLOW 6' WILL ONLY HAPPEN WITH A LIL WAYNE FEATURE". HipHopDX. August 27, 2020.
- Pierre, Alphonse (January 15, 2019). "New Rap Song of the Day: NLE Choppa's 'Shotta Flow". Pitchfork. Retrieved April 14, 2020.
- Cirisano, Tatiana (February 15, 2019). "Why 16-Year-Old Rapper NLE Choppa Turned Down a $3 Million Record Deal to Partner With UnitedMasters: Exclusive". Billboard. Retrieved April 14, 2020.
- McKinney, Jessica (March 20, 2020). "Best New Music This Week: The Weeknd, Mac Miller, NLE Choppa, and More". Complex. Retrieved April 14, 2020.
- Williams, Kyann-Sian (September 16, 2020). "NLE Choppa: Memphis rap hero with the golden touch". NME. Retrieved October 15, 2020.
- "NLE Choppa & Ex-Girlfriend Mariah Welcome Baby Girl". RapCurrent. June 21, 2020.
- "NLE Choppa On Debut Album, 'XXL' Freshman List & More Complex Stories". Complex. October 2020. Retrieved October 15, 2020.
- "Broward County Clerk of Court". browardclerk.org.
- "NLE Choppa Arrested, Faces Burglary, Gun, and Drug Possession Charges". Complex.com.
- "Video Shows NLE Choppa and His Crew Get Into Fight". Complex. Retrieved May 5, 2021.
- Woods, Aleia (May 3, 2021). "Fight Involving NLE Choppa Caught on Video". XXL Mag. Retrieved May 5, 2021.
- Media related to NLE Choppa at Wikimedia Commons