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Bubba Sparxxx - The Charm

Bubba Sparxxx, The Charm

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

I HAVE to confess, I wasn’t holding out much hope for Bubba Sparxxx latest long-player based on the so-so quality of recent single, Ms New Booty, featuring the Ying Yang Twins.

But given that Bubba, aka Warren Anderson Mathis, has now been signed to Big Boi’s label, I was pleasantly surprised to find this is actually a very strong hip-hop offering.

Its decidedly mainstream in outlook, having been produced by Organized Noise (the producers responsible for much of OutKast’s signature sound), as well as Timbaland (Bubba’s partner in crime for his first two albums), Mr DJ, Basement Beats and The Heatmakers.

The result fuses generic hip-hop beats and raps with some genuinely surprising performers – criss-crossing some radio-friendly funk with something a little more introspective.

Hence, for every generic, crunk-influenced effort such as Claremont Lounge – which talks about ‘feeling bitches up’ – and Hey! – which drops plenty of attitude and a hip-grinding sample – there are some really surprising efforts along the way.

Highlights include Aint Life Grand, a more introspective effort featuring the soulful vocals of Scar that drops some nice melodies and some excellent vocal trade-offs (Bubba’s rapping style works really well against Scar’s falsetto style).

The Other Side, featuring Petey Pablo and Sleepy Brown, drops some top beats and some really fast-talking raps that succeed in generating some exciting vocal rhythms.

While the tender Run Away, featuring Frankie J, is a hip-hop ballad that really does feel poignant, despite comparisons with Nelly’s Over and Over with its guitar riffs.

Talking of comparisons, another highlight, That Man contains a sample that’s hauntingly reminiscent of Coolio’s Gangster’s Paradise – but no less effective for it.

Bubba says he named The Charm based on the maxim ‘third time is the charm’. He is also delighted that someone he grew up idolising [Big Boi] has displayed so much faith in him.

It’s pleasing to be able to report therefore that this third album contains plenty of charm and deserves to be a massive hip-hop hit.

Track listing:

  1. Represent
  2. Heat It Up
  3. Claremont Lounge
  4. As The Rim Spins
  5. That Man
  6. Otherside
  7. Ain’t Life Grand
  8. Run Away
  9. Wonderful
  10. Ms New Booty
  11. Hey