New Orleans is quite possibly Hip-Hop’s best-kept
secret and Choppa is set to become the Dirty South’s brightest star. At the
tender age of 21, No Limit’s newest protégé is on the verge of
taking the N.O. to even bigger heights.
With his booming voice, unrelenting personality,
and aggressive bounce style of music, Choppa is taking his style to places no
one ever thought it would go. He brings the heat with his debut album, properly
titled "Straight From The N.O.," and has got the hometown crowd buzzing
and wanting more.
Since releasing his first single, "Choppa
Style," Hip-Hop fans have begun to appreciate the appeal and free spirit
that club music offers a little more. Not one to just think on a local level,
Choppa is determined to carry his brand of bounce nationwide.
Read as he gives Allhiphop.com an account of
his life, his newfound fame, and how himself, Master P., and the New No Limit
soldiers plan to raise the bar in Southern Hip-Hop once and for all.
Allhiphop.com: We have a lot to cover, but let’s
get into the album a bit. Let the fans know when it’s coming out…the album
is highly anticipated.
Choppa: Well, my album is called "Straight
From The N.O." It comes out March 4th, you know?
AHH: Who can fans look forward to hearing from
on the album other than you?
Choppa: Man, I got my dog B.G., then I got mostly
No Limit after that…you know, P, 5th Ward Weebie, Currency, The Hospital,
AHH: The whole roster at No Limit has changed
a lot over the years.
Choppa: Yeah, it has. You know how No Limit gets
down…every magazine, you got No Limit "coming soon, coming soon,"
AHH: Have you been directly affected by any of
the new changes that have occurred at No Limit, or do you use them to work to
Choppa: It’s all good for me because I’m the
leader of it right now.
AHH: Who is responsible for taking over the production
on the album?
Choppa: Well, my album was finished before I
signed to No Limit. I added a couple more tracks to give it that "No Limit
feel." But mostly, it was me.
AHH: How did the situation with No Limit come
to be? It sounds like you were making power moves long before the record deal.
Choppa: Me being in New Orleans, I had the song
"Choppa Style" for like two years, you know what I’m saying? And it’s
been hot down there, but it took awhile, you know? I made myself so hot to where
P had no other choice but to be like, "man, I got to come down there and
holla at this lil’ dude," you know? It was all good, man.
AHH: Who is your main inspiration for doing all
of this, man?
Choppa: My parents.
AHH: That’s unusual because most parents are
against their children listening to Hip-Hop music.
Choppa: The things they used to tell me made
me want to do it more. They used to say "if I knew my homework like I knew
that rap, I’d be making straight A’s." Things like that, I remember, you
know what I’m saying? I’d be like, "OK, I’m going to show y’all!"
AHH: How has having a hit song and a new record
deal improved your life to this point? Are you able to better provide a new
existence for you and yours, or are you looking in that direction later down
Choppa: Later on down the line because I ain’t
really focusing on it right now. But, later on in life, I be done got my own
record label and everything. I’m really just focusing on putting this first
album out and seeing how it does, you know?
AHH: What kind of response have you gotten from
the hometown crowd thus far?
Choppa: Ah man, they love me down there. I’m
the king of my city, man.
AHH: When the fans see you, they all just flock
your way, huh?
Choppa: It’s cool, you know what I’m saying?
It’s a mutual respect thing. Everybody respects what I’m doing. They saw how
I was grinding and hustling out there.
AHH: For instance, if you go to a mall to cop
you a nice throwback or something…
Choppa: I gets locked!
AHH: They just lock you down in there?
AHH: Is that sort of attention something that
you can live without, or is it something that you embrace? Many rappers basically
have no privacy because they have achieved a larger than life following.
Choppa: It’s something that I embrace. I love
the attention…that’s what I’m in it for, you know?
AHH: Were you a radio personality at some point,
or just someone that did a lot of work on the radio?
Choppa: I used to be on with Wild Wayne (Q93).
He’s like a big brother to me, you know what I’m saying? We used to have this
thing on the radio called "Nine O’clock Props," and I used to be on
there rapping. I would call at 9:00 and showcase my talent. That was something
for the locals to do. Anybody who had the skills to pay the bills, at 9:00 every
night, you could call the radio station. This was back in ’95 when I used to
do that. I was in middle school back then, man.
AHH: Talk about Master P. for a minute, man.
Is he fair in his business practices, and how is he as a person to work with?
Choppa: He’s a businessman, you know what I’m
saying? He believed in me, so he gave me my shot. He came down there and recruited
me, told me everything he wanted to do with me, with the movies and things,
and everything’s he’s been telling me has been coming true. So, I thank him
for believing in me and putting me out here like this.
AHH: In your opinion, is New Orleans now a wider
open city due to what No Limit and Cash Money have done for the past decade
Choppa: It is, man. It’s wild down here, man.
AHH: I asked that because I saw the other Choppa
from Bad Boy, and it just seems as if…
Choppa: Man, that dude ain’t from New Orleans,
AHH: (damn near falls out of his chair laughing)
He’s not? He was representing N.O. like he was from there, man!
Choppa: That dude don’t know us, man. He’s from
Maryland somewhere. We did some research, by his name being Choppa. Anybody
from New Orleans knows Choppa, man. I’ve been out for like 2, 3 years now in
New Orleans doing my thing. Everybody knows me from New Orleans. And for him
to just pop up and say his name is Choppa…man, I don’t know what’s going
AHH: Man, that’s funny! That’s definitely the
bite move of the year.
Choppa: He do what he do, and I’m going to do
what I do, man.
AHH: So, what kind of open venues does New Orleans
offer for talented cats that’s trying to break bread in this business?
Choppa: None really. To tell you the truth, we
don’t, because I’m telling you, New Orleans is something tricky, bruh. They
have this trend down there called "bounce music," and most of New
Orleans love bounce music more than they love anything. That’s what "Choppa
Style" is…a bounce song. They said that bounce would never go nationwide,
but I proved them wrong.
AHH: In a nutshell, you wouldn’t recommend out
of town cats to go to New Orleans and try accomplishing musically what they
couldn’t accomplish in their own hood?
Choppa: I wouldn’t recommend that, man. They
got hungry lil’ dudes out there that’ll get you just because you’re there. That’s
like trying to push work on somebody else’s block.
AHH: You said earlier that you were the top man
at No Limit now. Is there any kind of beef or in fighting amongst the label
mates? Is anyone jockeying for position more than they should?
Choppa: Everybody knows there’s a time for everything,
and right now, it’s just my time, you know?
AHH: Let’s switch this conversation over to another
level since we’ve touched all the important topics. Talk about the women, man.
How many pairs of drawls get thrown your way on a daily basis due to your sudden
change of status?
Choppa: Man, they be going crazy, man. They say
the craziest things, too. They just walk up to you and tell you what they want
to do to you. They really don’t know what to say, though. You know when it’s
a fan, and you know when it’s a fan that wants you. They just freeze up on you.
AHH: I bet even the ugly broads try to get at
a brother, right?
Choppa: Ugly broads, fat broads, I don’t discriminate!
AHH: Are there a lot of drugs and drug users
where you come from? Where I come from, crack is king, you know what I mean?
Choppa: They be pushing it down there in New
Orleans kind of heavy. We got it like that…we are the murder capital down
there. It’s wild down there, man…you really got to watch yourself. You
thinking it’s all cool because of Mardi Gras and all that…it goes down
out there. New Orleans is the dirt, man. You got the "dirty dirty,"
and you got the dirt. I come from the dirt, you know? We get everything last…we
can’t even get good smoke sometimes, you know!
AHH: (laughs) Were you involved in the drug game
at any time in your life?
Choppa: My family was, and that’s kept me away
from it. They would always try to keep me away from it because they had already
done it. I was always like a little brother to everybody, and people used to
look out for me in certain situations. I really didn’t have nothing to do because
people around me was doing everything; I was on some other stuff.
AHH: Which project in New Orleans is the dirtiest
project out there, man?
Choppa: All of them, bruh. The Fisher, the Magnolia,
the Callio, the Melph…
AHH: Which one is Master P. from?
Choppa: He’s from the Callio…Juvenile and
them is from the Magnolia.
AHH: If you go out there to those projects, you
would get your wig split wide-open quick, huh?
Choppa: Yeah, they will do you. People down there
have eye problems; they stare at you. That’s a sign of feeling played to people
in New Orleans. When you stare at them, they be like, "what you looking
at?" and start a fight, you know? I’m telling you, it goes down, man. I
wish they would fight more, man. Sneak somebody or something instead of all
that killing, you know?
AHH: Did you ever live in projects, and if you
have, do you still live there?
Choppa: We are getting out of it, you know what
I’m saying? I’m from Marrero. That’s a project with no bricks built, you heard
AHH: I forgot to ask you this earlier. Is there
any kind of rivalry between No Limit and Cash Money that you are aware of? I’m
tired of hearing the rumors, and I want to end them all right now.
Choppa: Nah, we straight, man. I’m cool with
Baby, I’m cool with Lil’ Wayne, I’ve been out on tour with Juvenile, so…
AHH: Two labels from a city not known for its
Hip-Hop roots can get caught up in a lot of hype, you know?
Choppa: I mean, both of them (Master P. and Baby)
are millionaires, so what are they going to tell each other, you know?
AHH: Before I let you go, talk briefly about
the current situation with Iraq. What’s your take on the situation between Bush
Choppa: That’s fake, man. I think your boy is
just trying to follow in the footsteps of his pops, you know? Chill all that
out, man…just sit down, light up something, get a girl and say "look
here…we don’t need all that over here now!" (laughs)