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Album Review

"A lot a y'all was thinkin' that Bubba'd probably disappear," Bubba Sparxxx says on "Hootnanny," one of the better cuts from his sophomore effort, Deliverance. "In due time, but there's business left to tend to/I need another farm to bequeath my next of kin to." He goes on to suggest other things haters might have had him doing after his unlikely 2001 success, like buying a second pig, or relaxing in a brand new double wide. All of this plays out over typically skittering Timbaland beats that feature the added spice of regional colloquialism. Like swampland oozing from cracked city pavement, or a still set up under the steps of the 42nd Street subway station, Tim and fellow producers Organized Noize continuously recast Deliverance's songs of the South in their particular brand of shimmering, percussive urbanity. Ultramodern beats flatten out under harmonica, acoustic guitar, and fiddle; "Comin' Round" even integrates the plaintive chorus of Yonder Mountain String Band's "To See You Coming 'Round the Bend" into its pattering patois of beats and bumpkinism. Of the Organized Noize tracks, the brassy funk of "Like It or Not" — featuring that crew's Sleepy Brown — is the standout. It rolls on a razor-sharp '70s-collar vibe, and relates the tale of a typical Saturday night cruise into the ATL. For his part, Sparxxx is still a skilled, yet limited MC who too often lets his beats do the talking. Sure, his collaborators have some of the best beats in the business. But they can't always take up the slack when Bubba's raps start to wither in the heat. He seems to have plenty to say; Bubba's newly slim in the album's bowie knife-brandishing photo spread, which might account for the numerous mentions of how much action he's been getting. But mostly, Sparxxx still brings it in his particular Southern playalistic style, with his "fishin' pole and bottle of 'shine." Deliverance works best on the title track, "Comin' Round," and the family shout-out "Jimmy Mathis" — as long as Sparxxx is trumping up his "New South" mantra, he might as well keep Timbaland's decks out on the front porch, where the beats can gleam in the humidity, and further his folky, funky flow.


Born: 06 March 1977 in LaGrange, GA

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '00s, '10s

No doubt the first of his kind, Bubba Sparxxx dumbfounded the hip-hop community -- and soon after, the mass market -- when he emerged out of nowhere with Timbaland in late 2001. When his debut single, "Ugly," hit urban radio, it was unmistakably a Timbaland production -- the "Get Ur Freak On" samples being a sort of trademark stamp. This drew initial attention to Sparxxx, who many initially thought of as yet another Dirty South rapper, albeit one lucky enough to be the flagship for Timbaland's start-up...
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Deliverance, Bubba Sparxxx
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