in brief : bubba sparxxx seems to be the ghostface of the south : his music goes place where one wouldn't expect; he's willing to take chances w/ his themes; and after all that it's no surprise when his records don't sell as well as they should.
i'm going to guess that dark days, bright nights didn't sell all that well. the charm, and we all hope the third time proves to be just that, is something of a retrenchment. this is disappointing b/c the best tracks from dark days w/ their fusion of country and hip-hop--"hick hop" long before cowboy troy--seemed to point a new way forward. but a bubba's gotta eat, and we can't begrudge him that. as a result, the charm is the sound of the new south and not the grand ol' opry.
it's hard, though, to be disappointed w/ tracks like "as the rim spins," produced i'm almost positive by organized noize. this sort of track, a flashback to outkast ca. aquemini (bubba is now signed to big boi's label), used to be so ubiquitous, instantly what one thought of when the term "southern rap" was brought up. it's both fresh and clean--w/ scratching no less--and makes one nostalgic for the days before outkast transcended southern rap, leaving crunk to fill the void. let's hope it sells like crunk, too.