Bubba Sparxxx has had an interesting career to say the least. It was 2001 when he seeming popped up out of nowhere with a video featuring Timbaland and Missy Elliot. The song, “Ugly”, was a major hit and thrust Bubba into the spotlight at lightning speed. There were a couple of things that added some shock value to Bubba, the first thing being that he was as country as country gets and of course he was white. Talent trumps everything though and the white boy from the country could really rap. His second album Deliverance wasn’t a commercial hit but is considered by many to be a slept on classic. After Deliverance, Bubba switched labels and styles, and came with the club anthem that still keeps strip clubs bumpin’ to this day, Ms. New Booty. The release of the track also seemed to mark a change in style for Bubba. He was less country, rockin’ fresh velour suits, looking more hip-hop than before. The album and single both went gold and Bubba Sparxxx seemed to disappear. All was quiet on the music front as far as Bubba was concerned. People undoubtedly wondered where their favorite country MC had gone and the answer came recently with the release of his Pain Management album, an album that is distinctly different from his previous efforts, with more of a country music influence. Mens Mag Daily caught up with the talented LaGrange native to discuss his drug addiction, the various stages in his career, and his upcoming, and according to Bubba, his best album to date, Made On McCosh Mill Rd.
Mens Mag Daily: Bubba I’ve been a fan for a long time. You can rhyme obviously and you always had a unique sound. I’ve been listening to this new album and it has a real country music influence.
Bubba Sparxxx: Yeah it does but I would say that was always the case. If you look back at my albums especially Deliverance they had a real country feel to them. Even as far as the visuals I was using and the production, definitely country. The first album was more of an urban sound but with Deliverance we wanted like a musical backdrop that would go with what I was rapping about which had more of s country feel. And honestly, it wasn’t that commercially accepted. It sold like 400,000 copies which today is huge but back then it wasn’t that much. After I changed labels they didn’t really want that sound. They wanted more of a club sound. That how Ms. New Booty came about really. After I left the label for various reasons I was really able to find an audience for the sound I have now which is what I had been trying to do since like 2003. It was like I found the people that enjoy this type of music.
Mens Mag Daily: So what have you been up to between Ms. New Booty and now?
Bubba Sparxxx: I’m not bashful about it or nothin’. I touched on it a little bit but I was like a full blown drug addict man. It actually peaked in 2006 and I went to rehab and I was good for a little while but then I relapsed again in 2008. I had to go to rehab twice. There was about a year and a half or two years where I didn’t even go to the studio. I had quit basically. It became like I wanted to kind of cut music out but I never really stopped doing shows because I have a good core fan base. It was how I made my living but I started thinking I would rather have a good like without music than a bad life with music. Honestly, in a lot of ways I think I just grew up, I just grew up. I got to a point where I felt good about myself and felt good about what I had to say and the opportunity presented itself here with Average Joes so it worked out.
Mens Mag Daily: Good for you man, I’m happy to hear that. I imagine it all must have been hard because I look back at your career and when you first came out you must have been the biggest thing out for a while.
Bubba Sparxxx: Yeah man it was fall 2001, I went from being in this little country setting to being on Saturday Night Live. It was all in a matter of months so it was a whirlwind man. It was crazy and they say fame is the most addictive drug and that’s how it was. I got addicted to being a celebrity, to being’ Bubba Sparxxx. I loved the partying. It got to the point where all the traits I had that got me to that point were gone. I was doing just enough work to maintain that lifestyle. I lost most of the drive.
Mens Mag Daily: I hear you bro. One thing about you is you can be diverse in what you do. When Ms. New Booty hit were you ever like, “okay this works, let me rock with this for the rest of my career?”
Bubba Sparxxx: Yeah definitely, I mean I left the label and I signed to E1 at the time and I made a whole album similar to that. At that point I was really struggling with my addiction. I won’t say Ms. New Booty wasn’t a part of my personality because I’m a strip club type dude, I love strip clubs, I love women, I love booty but there was a part of me that knew that wasn’t my vision that I had from the beginning of my career as to what I wanted to do musically. My first two albums were more of my vision. I’m not apologizing for it because it was hot, it was a single, the album went gold and I’m proud of that accomplishment. It just wasn’t necessarily my vision. We kept going back and forth because they wanted that Ms. New Booty type of music and I was making the type of music I’m making now. I actually recorded about three albums worth of music. We actually have a cool relationship though; we just couldn’t get on the same page. I’m actually releasing an album in June called Made On McCosh Mill Rd. and I think this is my best album yet. I know every artist says that about the album they have coming up but I feel like I’m really hitting my stride on this album.
Mens Mag Daily: I was pretty young when your album came out, maybe 18 or 19and I remember thinking that coming from where you come from it must have been strange to people that you were rapping.
Bubba Sparxxx: Yeah man, nobody wanted to hear that. It was beyond laughable. People never took it seriously. I always tell people I would have been better off telling people I wanted to be an astronaut. It would have been more believable coming from Lagrange. It was crazy but I knew there were ears for my voice and what I was trying to say. I believed that in my heart and sure enough it worked.
Mens Mag Daily: Yeah man, I feel like you have a very strong fan base that loves your music.
Bubba Sparxxx: Yeah man, they’ve been with me for a long time. I’m not saying I’m an icon at all. An icon is somebody who sells 20 or 30 million records. But I feel I made my mark on the game because to do 75 shows a year for 6 or 7 years, there’s not a lot of people that can do that. I would call that a pretty loyal fan base. With this album, Made On McCosh Mill Rd. I’m kind of making up for lost time. I’m rewarding my fans for being loyal with some really good music.
Mens Mag Daily: What direction are you going in with this album?
Bubba Sparxxx: Everything is going to be what I want to do from this point on. It’s going to be country hip-hop. I love hip-hop. I love the 808 drums but I also love country music. I love country music instrumentation like harmonica, banjos, and steel guitar. I love the content of country music. I love the emotions in that classic country music especially from 3, 4, or 5 decades ago. That’s the emotion I go for.
Mens Mag Daily: What does the audience look like at a Bubba Sparxxx show? I imagine it has to be real diverse to say the least.
Bubba Sparxxx: Put it this way man. I got two shows coming up, one in Chicago and one in Iowa at a college called Simpson College which is way out in the middle of nowhere. In Chicago it’ll probably be a racially and culturally diverse crowd and in Iowa it’ll probably be all white people. At points in my career, there were definitely times when I would be the only white dude in the room and maybe somebody I brought with me. It’s diverse all around man. I would even say it’s about 50 percent men and 50 percent women. It’s diverse. It’s like what America is right now. That’s what a Bubba Sparxxx show is like, like America.
Mens Mag Daily: With the music you’re making now you could be nominated for Country Music Awards, right?
Bubba Sparxxx: That’s definitely something we’re looking forward to in the future. Nashville is very accepting of a more hip-hop sound and that’s super awesome. We’re going to keep doing what we’re doing and see what happens. Hopefully I do get some kind of country music award.
Mens Mag Daily: Do you still have a relationship with Timbaland?
Bubba Sparxxx: We’re cool. I wouldn’t necessarily say we have a relationship. I actually went up to New York about a year ago to work on some music with him. We don’t talk all the time or anything but I don’t have to talk to him, that’s my big bro. I love him unconditionally and that’s that. We don’t talk as often as I’d like. It is what it is.
Mens Mag Daily: Alright Bubba to wrap it up; tell us what we should be checking for from Bubba Sparxxx.
Bubba Sparxxx: Pain Management in stores now and Made On McCosh Mill Rd. is coming in June and the single off that is going to be the title track. Fans can get at me. I love talking to the fans, I’m very accessible. Just don’t write me any bullshit and we can talk. (Laughs)
Article By: Jon Dabove