NLE Choppa – “Me vs. Me” review

NLE Choppa is a 19 year old rapper from Memphis, Tennessee who came up in 2018 off his debut mixtape No Love: The Takeover. However, it wasn’t until the following Christmas where his debut EP Cottonwood started to bring more attention to him & subsequently signed to Warner Records. He has since put out his full-length debut Top Shotta & his 2nd mixtape From Dark to Light since being on a major label but after spending last year doing features, Choppa’s returning in the form of his 3rd mixtape.

Things start off with the 6th installment of the “Shotta Flow” series which I understand is his biggest song, but it feels like him trying to get lighting to strike at the same spot over & over despite the energizing CashMoneyAP instrumental. Young Thug tags along for the triumphant “Push It” talking about having the game in a figure-4 leading into the money anthem “Jumpin’” which has a fresh woodwind instrumental & Polo G verse, but Choppa’s performances (especially the hook) are lifeless.

Meanwhile on “Trap Phone”, we have an atmospheric beat from Southside & some decent lyricism about hustlin’ just before “Final Warning” works in a blobby bass-line & some piano melodies for Choppa to send a message to his enemies. “I.Y.B. (If You Buck)”is a shameful bastardization of the classic Crime Mob single “Knuck If You Buck”, but then “Stompin’” ruins a cinematic beat with corny lines like “Fly like Peter Pan, bitch you know I’ve been a man. All black Batman with my n****s robbin’” & “Have you ever seen Mike with an Ike?”.

“Change My Ways” has a bit of a more orchestral with the help of OG Parker with more clever bars like “White boy with the ball in the cut, Tom Brady” whereas “Ima Dogg” comes off as a ripoff of the Gucci Mane joint of the same name. “Mmm Hmm” takes a more psychedelic route trying to talk about being on another level & even though I like the sample on “Still Hood”, the gangsta rap lyrics aren’t all that to me.

Internet Money brings in a more polished sound for “Drop Shit” detailing his take off while the barren “Chicago to Memphis” with G Herbo touches down on their gang lives. The song “Too Hot” with Moneybagg Yo sees the 2 spitting generic bars over a misty instrumental while the penultimate track “Lick Me Baby” comes off as a cringey sex ode. “Youngest to Do It” ends the tape on a more heartfelt note talking about his come up over a vocal loop.

Despite not being a fan of his previous work, I did find myself enjoying Me vs. Me a little bit more than I expected to. However, I’d say the high points are all mediocre at best. The production choices have definitely improved & most of the features come correct also, but the whole internal conflict concept of it keeps derailing itself as the tape goes on.

Score: 2/5

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