Bubba Sparxxx – Deliverance (2003)
Hip-hop/rap mixtapes were always my thing. After a push from my good friend Gutter (the creator of Nark Vol.1), it was my goal to pass on the newest rap to my friends every few months. During the previous year, I took a break from the Nark series (Vol. 18 to be exact), in favor of the Baggage Claim series. It was probably just the level of the hip-hop that would come out over the next 6 months, but only 1 out of the 6 mixtapes was any good.
It might have also been that Timbaland had basically taken a hip-hop nap since producing Missy Elliot’s “Gossip Folks”. Fast forward to Spring ’03 and the early leak of a few new Bubba Sparxxx‘s tracks led to the Nark rebirth. From the moment I heard the country-fried guitar and beat of the drum on “Deliverance”, I knew Bubba and Timbo were onto something hip-hop hadn’t seen before. Deliverance was easily one of my favorite hip-hop albums of the year. It was the first time Timbaland actually spent meaningful time to help out his most promising Beat Club artist. I’d even argue that this album lead to Timbaland’s growth/resurgence, later leading to more diverse work with Justin Timberlake, Nelly Furtado, Madonna, etc. Bubba even steps up his lyrical game on tracks like “Nowhere” (also sounds like a distant cousin to “Cry Me A River”) and “She Tried” (which features an early glimpse of Ryan Tedder).
After hearing “Deliverance” and “Comin’ Round”, I knew it was only right to bring back the original mixtape series. I was bored with the names, so I turned title into a pun-worthy affair, Nark Out Reloaded. Its probably more fun naming the mixes, than actually making them, but I’ve continued ever since (sans a breif lull in late ’04).