by MIKE CHAIKEN
CONTRIBUTING FASHION EDITOR
PHOTOS of NLE CHOPPA by CLIFF PHOTOS
NLE Choppa has been riding high on his career.
But a recent flip of the calendar reminded him of a dark moment in 2022.
On the rapper’s recent tour, Choppa sold out cities like Detroit and New York City. He had a blast working the counter at the Sloppy Vegan restaurant in Atlanta as part of a promotional gig.
He has been living like a rock star.
But on June 11, Choppa posted a retweet on Twitter from March that reached back to a sadder moment this year. The tweet read: “Seven Da’Shunn Potts… RIP My Lil One.”
With the retweet, Choppa commented, “Today would’ve been the day you would’ve been here physically.”
Back in March, Choppa and his girlfriend Marissa Da’Nae lost their unborn son after only shortly before announcing triumphantly Marissa’s pregnancy.
As a response to the tragedy, the Memphis, Tenn.-born star released a new song, “Gender Reveal.”
In the song, Choppa wrote, “If it's a girl, get ready for the tea parties / A girl, get ready for the pink barbies / A girl, make sure that her heart is guarded / Cause a girl, sometimes can become a target / If it's a boy, make sure you and him play catch / If it's a boy, make sure y'all have a talk about sex / If it's a boy, make sure he treat a women with respect / Forgive forget never regret and protect."
“Talking bout this is so hard,” Marissa wrote on Instagram back in March beside a photo of her and Choppa, “but with Bryson next to me and being my supporter, this has helped me more. Losing our Son is so hard for me, I couldn’t function. But he has pulled me through and I’m thankful to have you by my side and with me along this journey.”
Prior to “Gender Reveal,” Choppa was promoting his new mixtape, “Me Vs. Me.”
Press materials from his label Warner Brothers explained Choppa’s latest full-length explores “concepts of duality, self-growth, spirituality, and the search for inner peace.”
Born Bryson Potts, Choppa spent most of his childhood in the Parkway Village neighborhood of East Memphis, Tenn.
“Unfortunately, like many poor, neglected, and underfunded American neighborhoods, Parkway Village suffers from a disproportionate share of crime, gang activity, and fatal violence. After school, Choppa played basketball and video games to distract himself from the ills outside,” explained the news release from Warner.
“When his Jamaican mother wasn’t playing Bob Marley or Shabba Ranks in the house, Choppa listened to Lil Wayne almost exclusively… At 14, unable to bear the regimented routine of school and organized sports in conjunction with the tragedies he witnessed in Parkway Village, Choppa turned to music,” said the news release.
Although he grew up listening to Lil Wayne and grew up in Memphis, Choppa said in a written statement, “A lot of Memphis don’t rap like me. I always wanted to be different.”
Choppa hit the big time, and grabbed national attention, with his platinum single “Shotta Flow” and his Top 10 debut album, “Top Shotta.”
“Shotta Flow” was a left field hit, with no premiere, co-sign or major label push to give it wings. Instead, Choppa uploaded the track on YouTube, and it blew up, going viral. It’s now racked up millions and millions of streams on YouTube and Spotify.
As Choppa took to the road, he released “Yak Flow” as the follow up to “Gender Reveal.” On the confessional track, Choppa raps, “Only thing I need God and my family…on my knees praying what I want come to me.”