Hip-hop is an essential part of basketball culture. Warner Records artist NLE Choppa values the relationship music and hoops share, and he’s using his gifts as a lyricist and producer to weave the two into one seamless piece of art. As an avid fan of NBA 2K, Choppa told us what the game meant to him growing up and what it means to be a featured artist in NBA 2K22.

How have you grown as an artist since you were last featured in NBA 2K20?

NLE Choppa:

“I just feel like my music is maturing a lot more. In my song ‘I Don’t Need No Help’ I was cursing a lot, so you couldn’t really hear most of my part; it was mainly the beat because I was cursing a lot during that time. Now, as my brain’s matured and developed, I write my music and I feel confident with my words, so I don’t feel the need to cuss as much, and it flows better. I just feel like with me becoming a better artist, it's good for other avenues, like movies, radio, or video games. I’m just excited for the future because I’m going to keep supplying hits. I'm going to keep working with 2K because at the end of the day I grew up playing this game. I still play this game and it’s for sure a part of my childhood. I’m more than blessed to be a part of it.”

What did NBA 2K mean to you growing up?

“Man, this video game was a must-have. There were some years when my behavior was so bad that I wouldn’t get the game until Christmas, so I’d have to wait a few months before I got it. It was something I’d save my money for. It was something I stayed up all night doing. MyPLAYER was perfect. Everything about the game—when your friends come over to your house you have to play 2K. I just had a bet with my barber where if I won I got to cut his hair and if he won I had to pay him five hundred dollars. I gave him the haircut. It’s the culture that comes with the game.”

What’s your go-to MyPLAYER build?

“This year I didn’t really have the time to create a MyPLAYER, so I created an offline player and I made him 99 overall, and I’ve just been dominating the computer. I feel like sometimes it brings a type of peace to me, because I don’t have to worry about anybody else and I can just dominate the computer when I’m bored.”

How did you and Polo G come together for “Jumpin’”?

“I originally made the song for Future, but he was so busy and I respected that. One night I was in the studio and I played the song for Polo G and he was flabbergasted. I said, ‘I got an opening if you want to do it.’ I sent it to him and the next week he got it back to me, and it was up from there. I wrote a crazy treatment and I said, ‘Bro, I always wanted to rob a bank, whether it was in real life or a movie—since I was little.’ I sat down and wrote a whole Powerpoint of us just robbing a bank, the vault, and the money truck.”

How do you go from being one of the best young rappers to one of the best rappers?

“I feel like I just need to keep working. I’m a strong believer that what you want is already there. The willpower in between is what gets you to the finish line. I bust my tail, I’m in the studio from 10 PM to 8 AM the next day. Get two, three hours of sleep, wake up and do interviews for three hours, write a song, whatever. My daily routine is centered around music, especially these last few months trying to roll out my new project. So I feel like the work you put in is what you get out of it. It’s all for a great cause and it’s a long road, but I’m already there in my future self.”

As Choppa continues to mature as an artist, he’s adamant about remaining a fixture in NBA 2K and its soundtrack. You can listen to “Jumpin” featuring Polo G and check out more artist interviews on the official 2K Beats Hub.

At only 18 years old, NLE Choppa, aka Bryson Lashun Potts, began earning respect and attention from pundits and peers in the music industry for his charismatic sound. Filled with poise and wit well beyond what most teenagers possess, Choppa has racked up more than 5 billion song streams around the globe across various platforms. On YouTube alone, Choppa has eclipsed 1.3 billion views and continues to ascend on his path to stardom. Choppa was dubbed Billboard’s No. 1 emerging artist in 2019 and has only built on his potential since then.

“Shotta Flow” was his breakout song, which achieved an RIAA platinum certification and more than 171 millions views. In addition, “Shotta Flow Remix,” featuring Blueface, topped 230 million views. Choppa’s released a handful of singles such as “Camelot” and “Shotta Flow 2” that have also received RIAA platinum certifications. After seeing early success in his career, Choppa remains a fixture in the rap community, and has received praise from The New York Times, GQ, Complex, XXL, and Billboard. Choppa’s grown his No Love Entertainment label—a venture started with his family in Memphis—and is now working with Warner Records.