Rapper/actor Choppa Zoe, well known for his role on Money Violence, is gearing up for the release of his forthcoming EP, No Rap Check. His latest single “Athlete” is reaching up to 50,000 streams on Spotify, and he is preparing the visuals for it.

Choppa took the time out to talk about his new music and life after the hit web series:

What you been up to?
Releasing new music. I have a new single out right now called “Athlete.” I just been working on my music and putting out visuals.

What’s the inspiration behind your stage name Choppa Zoe?
I’m Hatian. That’s my background, so that’s the Zoe part. I always believe in representing your heritage and that’s where the Zoe part is from. The Choppa you know, I’m from the streets so that’s a whole different (laughs) you feel me. Everybody knows what Choppa means.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but does it seem like being Haitian is a trend now?
You ain’t wrong at all. That’s a fact. People out the woodworks. Haitian is like a title right now in a lot of ways. So definitely.

Is it considered a milestone for a Haitian musician to collaborate with Wyclef Jean?
Yeah it is. Especially for young Haitians on the come up. Even a lot of the ones coming up now, I see reaching out to ‘em. So yeah it is a milestone, especially for our community, he could’ve been our President. So it’s a big deal.

How’d you connect with him?
He heard a record I did called “For My Haitians” and he reached out and put me on his mixtape at the time. Dope relationship, I learned a lot from him.

In a time where it seems like every rising rapper has a gimmick, what are you going to do to stand out?
Ain’t no gimmick with me. I’m just myself. I got dope music. I feel like when you have good music you don’t have to wear a clown mask for people to look at you. When your music is trash you have to do both, but there’s no gimmick with Choppa. I have a lot of things that come with me but it’s not a gimmick. Like I wake up every morning and workout. That’s because I lost 200 pounds, that’s not a gimmick. I give back to my community, I help other artists own the gimmick. I just consider myself an authentic artist who has good music.

I read that you connected with your half brother following your father’s passing, and he was also into music. How influential was that moment in your music career?
It was the turning moment. That’s what started my career. That’s what pushed the button for me to take it serious and to see what could become out of this. I was in and out of jail and he was in another city so it was a way to step out of my comfort zone.

Imagine if that never happened.
Exactly. I think about that all the time too.

It seems like Money & Violence vanished in thin air, and everyone has a story about what happened. I want to hear your side.
Everything takes time. If you not doing it, you’re not going to understand why it’s taking so long. It started from YouTube for it to grow to Tidal it takes time to put it together. The only thing that happened is that there’s a few apples in the bunch who feel how they feel but the show goes on. Aunt Viv from the Fresh Prince was dark skinned and then she was light-skinned and millions of people were watching that. We’re not even on TV yet so there’s a whole new fanbase who don’t even know these characters yet so we’ll be fine.

What’s in the works as far as new music or acting gigs?
I’m working on a project called No Rap Check, and the video for “Athlete.” The record just hit 50,000 streams on Spotify. So just independently it’s doing well. Follow me on social media for the release date announcement.