Wednesday, March 6th, 2019

NLE Choppa – Shotta Flow

Age 16, turned down $3 million label deals…


Julian Axelrod: You’ve heard this story before: A gloriously profane teen drops a single-minded statement of intent that bubbles up from his hometown to become a hit. NLE Choppa’s verses alternate between hilarious and heinous, but his voice is big enough to fill in the cracks in the beat. I’d love to see what he can do with more than four piano notes.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: Many were introduced to NLE Choppa with “No Chorus Pt. 3,” so it’s nice that this solo outing proves he can do something other than be the umpteenth rapper influenced by NBA YoungBoy. The skeletal piano melody and blown-out low end are cute, but Choppa stands out for his ability to move slyly from a relentless, braggadocious assault into a more melodic, laid-back section. The switch-up makes his confidence seem believable.

Thomas Inskeep: I like the beat, that stripped-down Memphis single-piano-notes thing. But then NLE Choppa compares himself to a school shooter, the cherry on a sundae of gun references. (The video features lots of people pointing guns at the camera, too.) This makes me sick to my stomach.

Alfred Soto: The chopped piano and woofer-level bass are fun, but I hear nothing interesting that isn’t smut (“Your bitch suckin’ dick like a Kool-Aid pickle” indeed).

Tim de Reuse: I get the appeal. His flow has a laser-focused drive to it, and for a few bars it’s nice to get swept up in, but with only a handful of memorable lines there’s not really a lot to keep the wheels turning. The shrill MIDI-ness of the beat only distracts further.

Iris Xie: I’m fond of the way that NLE Choppa stretches and kneads the vowels in “I might just OD, percs killin’ me slowly” and “If you wanna run up on me, shoot ’em like Ginobili.” Combined with the high-pitched piano note that is played like the Tin Man became a pianist with axes for hands, this beat just slaps. 

Ryo Miyauchi: “U Guessed It” showed what tiptoeing piano riffs and crunchy bass set to a sluggish drum beat can do for a barking rapper, and they’re still a fine springboard in “Shotta Flow.” But unlike OG Maco, NLE Choppa isn’t reserving his energy for a particular section. He doesn’t need a hook for this: he told you that much in the very title, and he lays down a gassed verse that lives up to its name.

Reader average: [4.5] (2 votes)

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