Exclusives Interviews 24 August 2023

NLE Choppa Talks UK/US Crossovers, ‘Cottonwood 2’ & More

24 August 2023

Raising the stakes out of Memphis, Tennessee is a young prodigy named Bryson Lashun Potts, better known to the masses as NLE Choppa.

At 20 years old, age is nothing but a number when it comes to being a holder of exceptional talent and this rising star is making all the right noise musically. NLE was only 16 when receiving his first platinum record in “Shotta Flow 3”, a single which showcased the rapper’s ability to captivate an audience and potential to enjoy longevity within the music scene.

Choppa continues the trend of imposing superstars fledging from the Mississippi River into stardom, with established names such as Juicy J, Yo Gotti and Moneybagg Yo earning unprecedented status and waiting for Bryson at the top.

If NLE Choppa is a name you recently weren’t accustomed to, Wireless’s standout performance will have you searching his name in the Spotify and Apple Music charts. With countless encores and mosh pits from London’s energetic crowd, you would ponder the thought as to why the main stage didn’t play host to the young superstar.

We catch up with NLE Choppa to discuss his Wireless performance, the cross pollination between UK & US artists and much more. Take in the full conversation below.

“It’s beautiful! This my first time over here and it’s been lit. I’m grateful to be at Wireless Festival. I always wanted to be a part of it so I’m happy. I’ve just been looking forward to performing in the U.K for a while and I’ve made it dedicated to the U.K. They went crazy for it!”

The homage paid to one of the UK’s hottest festivals shows the relationship between both countries is much closer than previous generations. Choppa already has close ties within the UK’s scene talented doors. Both Russ Millions and Arrdee are notable features on his Cottonwood 2 album and according to NLE, the bridge has been gapped in terms of culture and the emergence of Drill, which has now become a mainstay around the world.

“It’s getting bridged. It’s like a gap being bridged! We’ve started to be a lot more open to U.K. artist and U.K. artist being a lot more open to us. It’s a beautiful time”.

Kudos was received, NLE found his presence in E20 and Stratford would be the location for the crossover of U.S. and U.K. Drill. “In The UK” sees Choppa rap fiercely over Drill whilst showing love to our slang and hit series Topboy. Whilst the appreciation is commendable, NLE understands Drill will always have it’s unique sound depending where you are from.

“I mean beat wise its similar, but the whole vibe is different. I feel like the accents always put a spin on it, the lingo puts a spin on it. I feel like they two different things”.

Who was your dream collaboration on Cottonwood 2?

“I think Wayne. I grew up watching Wayne so that was one of those things which was a full circle moment since I was a kid!”

Seeing your dreams become a reality really is a full circle moment. Many have to remember that NLE Choppa is still considered to be a kid, more respectfully a young adult who has years ahead of him. Platinum records are not a reality for the majority, those who know this feeling at a young age need advice, something which has been given along the way for Choppa.

“Just stay focused. On a real. You have to keep focusing on what’s important and what’s going to get you to that next level”.

Focus remains essential for NLE and his music ventures, but this is an artist who is open to creating all-round content. “Awakened Choppa” is NLE’s YouTube page which opens up the life of the entertaining rapper. He recently sparred with professional boxer Lorenzo Simpson who put him through his paces and endurance is something Choppa feels he needs to work on.

“Let me know how I got on because I need to get some endurance! I was tired! It was only two rounds, but I was tired as soon as I started swinging. He’s 13-0 and a middleweight. He’s tough, he’s next up!”

Whilst boxing might not become the forte for the rapper, hard work definitely is. Everyone has a formula in this day and age and NLE’s is simple.

“Wake up, pray, eat, studio or perform, then go to sleep!”

Take in Cottonwood 2 below right now, and keep it locked on GRM Daily for any future developments.