Music: Dark Days, Bright Nights

Bubba Sparxxx

If rap is going to crawl out of its current rut of shiny jewels and bland rhymes, it's going to need new voices. That's why the debut of Bubba Sparxxx, a white 24-year-old farm boy from LaGrange, Ga., holds such promise. On Ugly and Bubba Talk ("Y'all don't know me at all/I say the same thing but slower than y'all"), Sparxxx plays the country cousin to great effect, and aided by Timbaland's near-perfect production, it's fun to dance to as well. On other tracks, notably Well Water, Bubba dilutes his uniqueness with the usual boring hip-hop lexicon ("If it's beef you...

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