Remember Bubba Sparxxx, the quite frankly awesome rapper who utters the lines “I ain’t choose to rhyme / Rhymin’ chose me” in the 2001 smash hit, Ugly? Pure brilliance.
You might remember Bubba Sparxxx as a leading face of early 2000s country rap, a rising act mentored by Timbaland and a friend to Big Boi.
However you remember him, he made quite the mark on the hip hop scene in the 2000’s.
He released 3 albums in the 2000’s, Dark Days, Bright Nights in 2001, Deliverance in 2003, The Charm in 2006, then took a huge break, and didn’t release anything further until 2013 when he released Pain Management, then Made On McCosh Mill Road in 2014.
Bubba developed an addiction to opium in 2003, he spoke about it saying:
“I left Interscope [in the early 2000s] and signed with Virgin Records in 2004. During that time, about 2003, I had developed an opium addiction. It really came to a head in late 2006 — at the height of “Ms. New Booty” — I began going to treatment. I was at the depths of addiction at that time.
I was completely miserable. We had a lot of good times, but that period of time landed my best friend in rehab. We were by all accounts just a trainwreck. It was just a mess. Sometimes you just start moving so fast and you’re doing so much. You’re looking for any edge just to make the workload a little more enjoyable. I really didn’t care a whole lot about how I looked. For most rappers, that’s the most important part: the presentation. I still handled most of my business, and whenever I wouldn’t be going through withdrawals, it happened sparsely enough that [other people didn’t notice]. I was just sick.
Around that time, I left Virgin and I signed with E1 Records. I stayed clean for a while. I’d go away from music, and then I’d get clean, then I’d come back to music. But around that time, I was using again. During that whole time.
I had a pretty serious relapse in 2008 and went back to treatment. I was tired of running out of drugs. I rolled into rehab like, I don’t have a drug problem. I have a problem without drugs. That’s what it was. At that time, I felt like if I had drugs on me all the time, I wouldn’t have a problem; if you don’t know anything about opium withdrawals, it’s a “shut you down” kind of thing. It’s like having the flu but you can’t sleep. It aches. Vomiting. Diarrhea. That’s what made me realize I had a problem. That’s how out of touch I was with reality.”
From 2008 to 2010, Bubba lived on a farm, and avoided music in order to avoid temptation, finally returning to the studio in 2010.
He says “I do feel like my story was incomplete. I feel like I was capable, and I am capable, of achieving so much more. It would have been ideal if I hadn’t taken a seven- to eight-year hiatus in between, but I did. And if hadn’t taken a break, I wouldn’t be here today. I’d be dead. I wouldn’t change a piece of the journey because the journey is what made me who I am today.”