NLE Choppa Screwed Out of Powerade Deal ... Due to Ja Morant's Gun Vid

Ja Morant's publicity problems are now costing NLE Choppa, whose new song was all set to be featured in a Powerade commercial ... that is, until the NBA star flashed a gun on camera.

Sources with direct knowledge tell TMZ Hip Hop ... NLE's newest track, "Mo Up Front," was set to lead Ja and Powerade's "What 50% More Means" ad campaign. The TV spot was going to highlight the NCAA's March Madness tournament.

Those plans were scrapped, of course, in wake of Ja's infamous gun-waving video and subsequent eight-game suspension from the NBA ... thereby screwing NLE out of the commercial placement for his track.

Despite missing out on the national exposure, we're told the Memphis rapper is still a fan of Ja, and maintains a relationship with his hometown Grizzlies. He walked the team out onto the court for their home opener, so he's a diehard.

NLE is scheduled to partake in the team's celebrity basketball game on March 20 to benefit St. Jude's hospital. As for the music ... we're hearing he still has mo' heat in the can.

His new track with Lil Wayne titled “Ain’t Gonna Answer” drops next week, ahead of the April launch of his next album "Cottonwood 2!!!"

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