Many of us only saw the damage of Hurricane Katrina from our television sets, however, Young City was there to see it first hand. Born and raised in New Orleans, Chopper was one of the millions of people who were uprooted from the only homes they knew. While many people are still, four months later, struggling to bounce back from the devastation, Chopper was a lot more fortunate.
AllHipHop.com recently got up with Chop to talk about how the horrific hurricane affected him and his loved ones, as well as what he has done over the past few months to help the cause. Chopper has much love for his hometown, and hes reppin New Orleans till the day he dies.
AllHipHop.com: So I see that album is finally getting ready to come out...
Chopper: Yea, New Jack City is the album, and its ready
AllHipHop.com: Okay, cause I know you were talking about it before, but like I said, its been so long since I talked to you that I knew some of the details had changed .
Chopper: Yea, now its official like a referee with a whistle.
AllHipHop.com: Okay then, so of course, thats the first thing I wanna get into. Who did you end up working with all around with production and guest appearances?
Chopper: Well lets see, I got Mannie Fresh all on there, I got T.I. all on there, Lil Wayne, Jody Breeze, and I got some more
AllHipHop.com: Man, right off rip, its got to feel like a major accomplishment for you, because back when you were doing the show on MTV, the one thing I remember you saying was that you always wanted to get down with Mannie Fresh.
Chopper: I did, and it does feel like a major accomplishment. But honestly, I gotta say that I made this shake for myself. Nobody gave me a handout or anything. I made this shake for myself. I went out there and I made it pop! I made them believe in me.
AllHipHop.com: So how did you hook up with him? Do you think hes was paying attention to the show and heard you say it, or did someone get you two together?
Chopper: It was kind of a mutual thing. It was kinda like, I see you homie on both sides.
AllHipHop.com: So what type of feel are we getting with this album? Is it a major difference from what we were getting with Da Band?
Chopper: Its a very big difference. You can tell by the new single, Lil Daddy. Its a very big difference. With this album, you are getting the real Chopper. The Chopper that we always wanted, or that I wanted yall to see and that I knew
AllHipHop.com: So are you telling me that you werent being yourself, or that we werent getting the real Chopper before?
Chopper: I mean, you seen the young Chopper, the naïve Chopper. You saw the wild side of me - very talented, but wild. I couldnt really show off like I wanted to, which was a bad situation, but thats history. That side of me is in the trash can. The real Chopper is cool, calm, collected, fly, gutta, you know - the Chopper that I always was. Im finally getting my shine and my freedom. I finally got my oxygen tank. Its like I was struggling in the water with no oxygen tank. I was being told what to do. When you first come in the game as a rapper, or a rookie, you got to do what they tell you. Whatever they tell you, thats what you do. Now, I got a brand new situation. I call the album New Jack City, and not because of the movie, but because Im a new jack to this game, Chopper Young City, and I got something to prove. That point that Im proving is that Im one of the hottest newcomers coming in the South. Matter of fact, I got to be one of the hottest newcomers, period. Im definitely one of the youngest in charge in this game. People dont believe s**t stink til they smell it. But you know what, Im about to give them some s**t to the face!
AllHipHop.com: So what else is happening besides this album?
Chopper: Well the album should be dropping in January, but right now, its about this mixtape that I got coming out. Thats the situation right now, with DJ Smallz, called All Eyes On Me.
AllHipHop.com: Where can we fans up North find it?
Chopper: You can get that at www.chopperyoungcity.com.
AllHipHop.com: Oh word. So are you playing a part in the site? Do you go on and chat with your fans?
Chopper: I most definitely do that. My sidekick is right in my pocket! I have to, because they love me, just as much as I love them. I love them so much! Im going to keep giving them good music, because thats all I can do! I told you, its official like a referee blowin the whistle! You know the deal! Im not a star! Im a super super star! I aint even 21, and I done been through so much. I been through so much! Like, I done been shot, but I dont talk about that because it aint really the type of s**t to be glamorizing! I aint trying to get shot again! I been out in the streets.
AllHipHop.com: I wanted to ask you whats happening with Katrina relief on your end? I know New Orleans is your home, and your family is there.
Chopper: I lost a couple of my homies. My family is good now, but it dont seem right with my city gone.
AllHipHop.com: With you being there, do you see rebuilding the city as feasible?
Chopper: I mean, I see it, but I think its going to be to the point where the new housing is going to be so expensive that a lot of the Black people wont be able to afford to come back! I remember New Orleans for what it was! Its not going to be the same.
AllHipHop.com: I know. Im just sorry to hear about your loss and everything.
Chopper: Most definitely, and I appreciate the condolences. New Orleans was a city like no other. I feel like sheddin a tear, and it hurts, but I got to be strong for my family.
AllHipHop.com: Exactly. And at least with stuff like your houses, you can definitely replace that.
Chopper: Right, but its just so messed up that some people already didnt have a lot, or was struggling, and now that this done happened, they really dont have nothing. Thats what hurts.
AllHipHop.com: There are so many artists getting involved in aid and what not. In what ways have you been able to help?
Chopper: I gave to a few organizations. I gave to the Red Cross, and helped to supply food and water.
AllHipHop.com: The Hip-Hop culture is dogged and criticized so much, but its really good to see how in a time of crisis, we can stick together and help each other out. I mean, you know how this government is...
Chopper: Definitely. This is a time to get a reality check on voting, especially for the next election. Bush, them are some f**ked up people! Its a trip, but let me shut up for they try to sabotage me.