Choppa Style Is Now “Shoppa Style”
Darwin Turner is the name he grew up with, but in 2002, this West Bank rapper came to be known as Choppa! At a time when there was a vibrant local bounce rap music scene and hits like “Josephine Johnny” and “Catch the Wall” were getting radio airplay, “Choppa Style” also reigned on the local airwaves. It was the time when regional rap took off in the streets and got the attention of local radio stations. That period in our music’s history would bear even more fruit when some of our local artist became national stars.
New Orleans hip-hop was in the blood of this John Ehret graduate as he topped the charts a mere two years after high school. Two years after that, Choppa signed a contract with Master P’s No Limit Records and re-recorded “Choppa Style” for a national audience.
He enjoyed the success and all the trappings that having a big hit can bring, but sustained success was not to be. Choppa spent the next decade and a half recording music and performing, but not at the hit-record level.
That all changed in 2019 when former New Orleans Saints player Fred McAfee played “Choppa Style” in the locker room during a post-victory celebration. The video of the team and Coach Sean Payton dancing went viral, and, suddenly, “Choppa Style” was back in style.
Choppa tells the story of going to a Saints game not long afterwards to hear his hit from 2002 being played in the Dome and see the fans going wild. Immediately, requests for performances and appearances started coming in, and other teams — namely the championship LSU Tiger football team — made their own “Choppa Style” viral videos as well. The lifelong Saints fan has also been tapped to perform at a number of home games in the Superdome.
With the attention came festival appearances and concert dates that were reminiscent of Choppa’s days as a chart topper. Additionally, his voice has been sampled by artists such as Cardi B, City Girls and Yo Gotti. And over the years, the song “Choppa Style” has also been featured in several movies.
Choppa says the resurgence of his career, 20 years after his biggest hit, has been like an out-of-body experience: “If someone had told me this would be happening in 2022, I would have thought they were crazy.” He also says that the years between successes have given him an appreciation for his accomplishments that he probably would not have enjoyed as much as a young man.
Choppa’s lastest endeavor is as the face and voice of the new Rouses Markets Shoppa Style campaign! Since Rouses Markets is an official sponsor of the New Orleans Saints, the campaign has given him a chance to celebrate his team, the city and Rouses.
The Rouses Markets Shoppa encourages shoppers to order convenient curbside pick-up at or with the Rouses Markets app. Download the app at the App Store or Google Play.
As for the artist, although he acknowledges that the pandemic was a bit of a challenge for all performers, he says the shutdown gave him the opportunity to reevaluate his music and to try new things. One result was the song “Louisiana.” It’s a country-leaning selection that he says is closer to who he really is; Choppa says, “I’m a country boy.” That song eventually led to a collaboration with Amanda Shaw on her song “Louisiana Saturday Night.”
In his spare time, the rapper owns and operates Creole Kennels, which specializes in the breeding of Boerboels, cane corsos and micro bullies. Choppa is also currently performing dates on the No Limit Reunion Tour with Master P and the stars of the label.