INTERVIEW: rapper Bubba Sparxxx | Arts & Culture
Born in rural Georgia, Warren Anderson Mathis is better known to fans of Southern rap as Bubba Sparxxx, whose hit song “Ms. New Booty” peaked at #7 on the US Billboard hip-hop charts. He was discovered in Athens, rapping after a UGA Bulldogs game, capitalizing on a love of the genre that had been growing since he heard his first mixtape. His spin on hip-hop, influenced by “Dirty South” artists like Outkast as well as West Coast gangsta rap acts N.W.A. and Too Short, helped pave the way for the Country Rap movement that has seen a stream of “rap style” songs by country stars like Jason Aldean, Toby Keith and Tim McGraw.
This Friday, December 7, Bubba Sparxxx comes to Macon for a performance at the historic Cox Capitol Theatre. Tickets are $15 and the doors open at 7 p.m. Earlier this week, “Bubs” took time to answer a few questions from 13WMAZ’s Jacqueline Harnevious.
13WMAZ: Most people know you as the artist behind “Ms. New Booty.” What have you been up to musically since the club hit, and what are you working on currently?
Bubba Sparxxx: I have actually recorded a couple of albums worth of material, but most of it was never released. Some of the material was comparable to Ms. New Booty and other club hits I've had in the past, and some of it was more country/southern rock influenced which is the vibe I'm most comfortable with. The new album, "Pain Management," which is set to be released in February is definitely country/southern rock influenced hip-hop.
13WMAZ: We’re curious how you decided on your stage name, especially the three x’s at the end of Sparxxx?
Bubba Sparxxx: Bubba comes from being the runt of the litter. I was always referred to by family members as Lil Bubba, and it stuck. Sparxxx is something that I made up and honestly I just thought the three X's at the end looked cool.
13WMAZ: How would you draw the line between Southern hip-hop and just hip-hop?
Bubba Sparxxx: I think all Hip-Hop is representative of the culture of its various geographical regions. I think southern Hip-Hop just paints a picture of life down South both musically and lyrically.
13WMAZ: What are you bringing to your fans and concert-goers at Cox Capitol Theatre this weekend?
Bubba Sparxxx: I'm really excited about the current tour, because it's the first time I've used a live band. In the past, I always rocked with DJ's and backing tracks, so the live band adds a whole other dimension to the performance. Not to mention it's the same crazy frenetic and energetic "Me" that its always been. As far as the content for the show, I'll be doing a blend of old and new material with maybe even a surprise cover song thrown in there. The show is definitely geared towards making the ladies shake that tail-feather!
13WMAZ: What should we be on the lookout for from you?
Bubba Sparxxx: My new single "Country Folks" featuring Colt Ford and Danny Boone from Rehab, who is from nearby Warner Robins, is available now on iTunes. We're actually getting ready to shoot the video to the song in about a week. The new album "Pain Management" will be available in stores and iTunes towards the end of February. In the mean time, check out BubbaSparxxx.com for new videos, updates, and touring information. Also friend me on Facebook (BubbaSparxxxMusic) and follow me on twitter @theRealBubbaK.
13WMAZ: How did you get your start in the music industry?
Bubba Sparxxx: In 1997, I moved from my hometown of Lagrange, GA, to Athens, GA, under the pretense of going to college. Although, I didn't get very much school work done, I was able to connect with my manager Bobby Stamps, and producer Shannon Houchins. I also met Colt Ford during this time. A couple of years later, Stamps, Houchins and myself put out a CD independently and it received rave reviews in the Southeast and eventually landed on the desk of Interscope Records CEO, Jimmy Iovine, who signed me to a record deal. The rest is history.
13WMAZ: What’s your favorite place to go to eat or hang out in Macon?
Bubba Sparxxx: It’s funny, because even though I grew up only 90 miles or so from Macon, I’ve never spent that much time there. But, I’m looking forward to doing some investigating this weekend, baby!