|Stylistic origins||Hip hop|
|Cultural origins||Mid-1990s, Cleveland, Chicago, Kansas City, Milwaukee|
|Midwest hip hop|
Chopper is a style of hip hop music. It originated in the Midwest. It is considered the main contribution to rap music by Midwestern hip hop artists. The style of rap first gained popularity in the mid-1990s with the emergence of hip hop in the Midwest and the rise of award-winning rap artists such as Cleveland rappers Bone Thugs-n-Harmony and Chicago rapper Twista. The rap style eventually spread to other regions as well. In the late 1990s, Tech N9ne, a former underground rap artist, popularized the Chopper style among his strong fan base and in 2011 released a series of collaborative songs with other Chopper artists exclusively in this fast-paced style of rap.
Etymology[change | change source]
The word "Chopper" can be used simply for any rapper who uses an up-tempo style in their lyrics. The term was first used in street and hip hop slang to refer to the AK-47 assault rifle. The word has also been used as an informal word for helicopter. The link to AK-47 and helicopter and their fast response times regarding their functions may have an analogous relationship to fast-paced rap. One of the first rappers to popularize this style of rap, Twista, in a song with Tech N9ne titled "Worldwide Choppers" hinted at this in his lyrics, "I'm finna be usin it as energy, watch how radiant I'ma be. Like a helicopter when the words fly."
Chopper used to loosely describe the fast-paced style of rap, but the use of the term became more official when rap artist Tech N9ne released a series of collaborative rap songs with other Chopper-style rap artists from around the world in 2007, 2009, and 2011 including Worldwide Choppers, Midwest Choppers, and Midwest Choppers 2.