Bubba Sparxxx

Bubba Sparxxx Artistfacts

  • March 6, 1977
  • Bubba Sparxxx was the first white country rapper to make an impact - his genre became known as "hick-hop." He grew up on a farm in LaGrange, Georgia, where it was hard to find rap music, but he got a hold of CDs from the likes of Beastie Boys and 2 Live Crew, and taught himself how to rap.
  • His debut album, Dark Days, Bright Nights, was released on a small label in 2000 and earned him a deal with the major label Interscope Records. Interscope boss Jimmy Iovine, the same guy who paired Eminem with producer Dr. Dre, teamed Sparxxx with Timbaland, one of the hottest producers in hip-hop. The album was completely reworked with new songs added, including his first single, "Ugly."

    With Timbaland at the helm and Interscope promoting him, Sparxxx was certain to get airplay on urban radio and on MTV, which he did. Timbaland's contribution also imbued him with credibility in the hip-hip community in the same way Dr. Dre gave Eminem that opening.
  • His real name is Warren Mathis. "Bubba" is a euphemism for a Southern hillbilly type; the radio DJ Todd Clem had been using it for years as "Bubba The Love Sponge."

    Like Eminem's Slim Shady alter-ego, Bubba Sparxxx is an exaggerated version of Mathis, heavy on the country swagger.
  • At the beginning of his career, he moved to Athens, Georgia, home of the University of Georgia, because his best friend, Steve Herndon, got a scholarship to play football there. Herndon, who played in the NFL for the Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons, appears in the videos for "Ugly" and "Deliverance."
  • An addiction to painkillers derailed his career. After his third album, he went to rehab and took a lot of time off. When he was ready to make music again, he connected with fellow country rapper Colt Ford and released music on Ford's label, Backroad Records.

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