Bubba Sparxxx reemerges with ‘real’ country rap set
Country rapper Bubba Sparxxx says Made On McCosh Mill Road—his new album on Entertainment One Music (eOne)—is “the real me.” The Georgia artist born Warren Anderson Mathis claims in a label news release that he’s “genuine authentic country” and “genuine authentic hip-hop,” adding, “The thing about music is that people can smell when it's phony, so I just let my soul be the backbone this time.” The 10-track project follows an extended recording hiatus and comes in the midst of a “decisive creative renaissance that's redefining the parameters of the genre that he helped to create.”
In 2001, Bubba Sparxx helped introduce a visionary fusion of country and rap that has since turned up in music by country superstars including Jason Aldean, Toby Keith and Tim McGraw. In addition, urban rappers like Nelly, Ludacris, and LL Cool J have collaborated with country artists. The Bubba Sparxx resurgence began in 2013 with his well-received Pain Management. The groundswell continues with Made On McCosh Mill Road, considered one of the artist's “most accomplished efforts.”
Mathis says that while he’s proud of the previous album, the effort was more of a warmup. “[Pain Management] was the first record I'd put out in seven years, and it was kind of just knockin' the dust off and gettin' back into the swing of things,” he explains. “With Made On McCosh Mill Road, I feel like I'm hitting on all cylinders again.” The fact that the new album's title track—featuring Danny Boone of Georgia hard-rock/hip-hop band Rehab—references the area of rural Georgia where Mathis grew up is a reflection of the project's personal edge. “Made On McCosh Mill Road is a tribute to the road that I grew up on, north of LaGrange, Georgia,” he reveals in the press announcement.
“It's a unique place, and it's synonymous with wild country living. The song is an ode to the culture that I come from, and the work-hard/play-hard mentality that people have where I come from.” The song’s accompanying music video was filmed on his family’s farm, and shows “life as he knows it” with images of “principled, hard-working folks that play hard.” The 37-year-old rapper tells Taste of Country that it was “really awesome” to show fans where and how he grew up. “Not a similar place, but the actual place. Not in a similar way, but in this actual way,” he says in the article. Mathis adds he did a lot of soul-searching while making Made On McCosh Mill Road, deciding not to take himself too seriously or worry about things not in his control.
“It’s getting warm again, and [‘Made On McCosh Mill Road’] this is definitely a high energy song people are going to want to play at parties, in clubs, and out on the water this summer,” he declares. The album’s vital balance of “personal expression and flat-out fun” is embodied by other rousing, heartfelt tracks such as ‘Past Is Practice’ featuring rising country artist JJ Lawhorn); ‘Pay Attention’ with up-and-coming country-rappers the Redneck Souljers; and ‘Prolly Right,’ a song that introduces the Bubba Sparxxx side-project group, I4NI. Bubba Sparxx is currently on the road touring select U.S. venues through October.
Watch the official music video for ‘Made On McCosh Mill Road,’ the title track from the new album by country rap artist Bubba Sparxxx.
As A Matter of Fact…
* Warren Anderson Mathis was born March 6, 1977, in rural LaGrange, Georgia. Mathis says that he remembers thinking as a young teen that the spirit of hip-hop music wasn't much different than the spirit of "outlaw" country music. He claims the “rebellious nature” of NWA and 2 Live Crew is similar to the movement created by Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and others.
* Mathis found the drug use and accompanying crime that infected large cities was also affecting small town Georgia. “Folks were still hard working, and had traditional values, but drugs and violence had become more prevalent, as a new generation of boys and girls became man and women in this hostile environment,” he explains. He believes the merger of country and rap was inevitable.
* Bubba Sparxxx first arrived on the country music scene in 2001 with his seminal smash debut, Dark Days, Bright Nights along with the “equally innovative” follow-up Deliverance. The pioneering MC's rule-breaking, crowd-pleasing combination of inventive hip-hop beats, vivid down-home verbal imagery, and live acoustic and electric instruments continues to strike a chord with fans.
* The Bubba Sparxxx singles ‘Ms. New Booty,’ ‘The Charm,’ and ‘Country Folks‘ demonstrate the different sides of the country hip-hop star’s personality. The video for his first No. 1 single, ‘Ugly,’ features Mathis and some buddies in the mud with pigs, riding tractors, and performing in front of a house covered with bug lights.
* Bubba Staxx had a Top 10 Billboard Hot 100 hit in 2007 with ‘Ms. New Booty,’ but Mathis credits Colt Ford and producer Houchins with ironing out the kinks and spearheading the post-Deliverance mainstream country rap movement that exists today.