Every artist is on their own journey. For 17-year-old Memphis rapper NLE Choppa, things are picking up quickly as a result of his success. He started out freestyling with his friends when he was 14 and then found fame due to his verse on the Shotta Fam 2018 posse cut “No Chorus Pt. 3.” After he dropped his breakout song “Shotta Flow” (which landed at No. 36 on the Billboard Hot 100, has been certified multiplatinum and now has five parts) in 2019, delivered his first EP, Cottonwood, that same year, and has been releasing music consistently since, he became a rap sensation by the time he was 16.
All of the momentum NLE Choppa built for himself garnered him plenty of attention, as there was no one rapping with the mix of energy and humor quite like he was. He faced comparisons to other rappers, especially 2018 XXL Freshman BlocBoy JB early on, but quickly gained respect as his own man for the unique qualities he brings to his music. His visuals brought his personality to life, too. All Choppa’s videos are gripping, either featuring him and his friends doing whatever they want (“Shotta Flow”), his endless dance moves or a walk through a day in his life, like in “Camelot.”
NLE Choppa‘s talent and work ethic got him a record deal with Warner Records, partnering his own No Love Entertainment imprint with the label as his momentum continued to roll in the summer of 2019. Since then, he dropped a successful single, “Walk Em Down,” featuring 2019 XXL Freshman Roddy Ricch (which peaked at No. 28 on the Billboard Hot 100), and dropped his debut album, Top Shotta, last month. Now, he is a 2020 XXL Freshman, an honor he does not take lightly, and he rose to the occasion for his Freshman freestyle.
Starting his freestyle quickly as he comes into focus, NLE Choppa raps about his character in the street and the name he’s built up for himself. “One thing fo sho, I ain’t never been a runner/Hangin’ out the window, I was always gunnin’/Got a little feet work, then I started huntin’,” he rhymes. “Take ’em out the game, I’ma kill all opponents/Even in the rain, I’ll go drill, homie.”
Soon after, he switches flows and really goes to work. “Rock ’em to sleep, we ain’t doin’ no peaces and treaties/We want that lil bitch underneath/Draco in reach, if he reachin’ I’m teachin’.” He then manages to slip in a slick shout-out to Chief Keef, a former XXL Freshman himself. “Playin for keeps, I’m runnin’ with thiefs/Still do a drill while I’m bumpin’ Keef/Tell him come C but he know what it B/Whole lotta Crips when he pull in the street.”
He bounces into a few other flows later in the freestyle and finishes strong.
Check out NLE Choppa’s 2020 XXL Freshman freestyle, powered by Rap Caviar, below.
See the 2020 XXL Freshman Class