For his 18th birthday, NLE Choppa shared two things with the world that spoke directly to his personal growth as a human being. One was a video of the Memphis-originating MC rousing a Tibetan singing bowl while incense burned and assorted crystals lay in the background. The other was his 13-song From Dark to Light project. “In this project I’ll be explaining the truth, my real story,” he says on “Intro.” “But at the same time embracing my growth, that dark side of me, the violent side of me.”
The self-proclaimed Top Shotta is well familiar with violence—and with turning its lessons into hit songs—but on From Dark to Light he’s attempting to walk a different path. The project is a sort of halfway marker for his transition from heartless street solider to holistic living enthusiast. “Bryson”—also NLE’s government name—is the standout in this vein, Choppa claiming, “I don’t even tote my gun no more, ’cause I’m knowing that I’m good now,” but we do hear about gunplay, along with robbery, trapping, and murder, on songs like “Taliban,” “Body Catchers,” and “100 Grapes.” It’s apparent, from both his social media and his newest music, that the NLE Choppa of From Dark to Light isn’t exactly the one of Top Shotta, but as the old adage goes, progress is a slow process. NLE admits as much himself on “Twin Flame,” rapping that he’s on a “spiritual journey with potholes in the road.”
Picture Me Grapin’
Moonlight (feat. Big Sean)
Hear Me (feat. Ink)
13 SONGS, 40 MINUTES
NOVEMBER 1, 2020
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