Rolling Out

NLE Choppa leads protest march in Memphis hometown (videos)

The Memphis rapper led a march with mostly young people on skates and roller blades
NLE Choppa at the 'I Will Graduate' event in Brooklyn, New York (Photo by Derrel Jazz Johnson for rolling out)
NLE Choppa at the ‘I Will Graduate’ event in Brooklyn, New York (Photo by Derrel Jazz Johnson for rolling out)

Rapper NLE Choppa returned to his Memphis, Tennessee, hometown to lead a march in protest of the vile and vicious beating death of Tyre Nichols by members of the Memphis Police Department.

Five members of a specialized police unit called SCORPION were captured on camera pummeling Nichols into submission for three straight minutes on Jan. 7, 2023. Horrified urbanites, who are not new to seeing Blacks being slaughtered on camera by cops, nevertheless erupted in horror and anger once the bodycam footage was released to the public on Friday, Jan. 27.

Choppa, who was born in Tennessee as Bryson Lashun Potts, initially rocketed to fame with his 2019 smash hit “Shotta Flow,” which was certified platinum by the RIAA and peaked in the top 40 of the Billboard charts. 

On Saturday, Jan. 28, the 20-year-old lyricist returned home and petitioned the socially conscience Memphis residents to meet him at 4687 Cottonwood Rd. He urged young people to bring their skateboards, roller skates and Heelys to join him for a peaceful skate-march through the city’s streets.

“Today, I felt it on my heart to turn a negative situation to a positive. I actually went to sleep dwelling on how I could wake up today and do that,” he said in the video. “I just want to skate for Tyre in respect to him and know that’s how he would have wanted everybody to act.”

Along the protest route, Choppa paused to address his fellow protestors and thanked them for their support.

“I know it’s hard for us to all come together and it’s kind of sad it takes something tragic for us to do this,” he told the group. “But I’m grateful for it, for everybody to be together. So, I just want to thank y’all for being a part of this.”

The “Do it Again” rapper added:  “Everybody right here is standing for something and they falling for nothing, so I appreciate y’all for coming.”

Even before he planned the skate march, Choppa denounced showing the extremely graphic video of the beating death. 

“I’ll never respect how footage is released of something so gruesome to keep people vibrating in the state of fear, anger, and hate!” Choppa penned on Twitter. “It should be way more respect for his innocent soul and … his family. What happened to rest in ‘PEACE’ SMFH !! #RIPTyreNichols.”

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