March 10, 2016 01:25 PM

Never doubt the power of the Internet.

Rapper Bubba Sparxxx learned that last week, when recent photos of him started circulating, and people all over social media were exclaiming over his weight loss.

“It was hilarious,” Sparxxx, best known for the song "Miss New Booty" tells PEOPLE. “It was kind of bizarre to me honestly, because, I had gotten up to about 290 lbs. and I lost almost pretty much all the weight about three or four years ago.”

“It was a little bit bizarre that it was such a huge reaction three or four years later, but you know, nothing about social media surprises me or shocks me anymore.”

Sparxxx worked hard to drop around 80 lbs. over two years by seriously stepping up his exercise game in 2011.

“I got up to 290 lbs., and it was just to the point where it was so uncomfortable,” he admits. “I’m like 5’11”, and I have a medium frame, so it was just a lot of weight to carry. I went out to LA and I was out there with a good friend of mine, and he had gained a lot of weight too. And we just looked at each other and were like, ‘This is not what life’s about.’ ”

So together, they spent six months doing two-a-day workouts at the UCLA track with a friend Sparxxx calls “Joey the Super Trainer.” Sparxxx swiftly dropped around 45 lbs., and stayed around that weight for a year before resuming his training and slimming down to 208 lbs. by the beginning of 2013.

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He also changed up his diet, but it’s “nothing insane.”

“I’ve settled in to a pretty consistent, healthy way of eating,” Sparxxx says. “Nothing insane. I just stopped eating as much bread.”

“The most important thing is just drinking water. That was something that I really didn’t do a lot, I was drinking a lot of soda, and obviously a lot of beer and liquor and stuff too. I’ll probably have a craving every week or two, but I try to drink at least 100 ounces of water every day.”

And now that he’s back in the studio working late on a new album, he tries to be conscious of what time he eats.

“I really won’t eat within three hours of going to bed,” Sparxxx says. That’s something I’m really working on, because I know just over the years of working in the studio and just being up late at night and eating Waffle House at like 4 in the morning really contributed a lot to me gaining the weight that I gained over the years.”

And he’s still dedicated to working out, though working on new music is cutting into his gym time a bit. Sparxxx tries to fit in his favorite workout, weightlifting, about three to four times a week.

“When I’m training my most passionately I’m definitely lifting weights,” he says. “I like to do each muscle group separately, like do legs Monday, shoulders on Tuesday, back on Wednesday, chest on Thursday, and then just tear up the arms on Friday, but if I don’t have enough time, if I’m on a three or four times a week schedule I’ll combine muscle groups.”

It’s all part of a few major life changes for the rapper, who previously went to rehab for a “very serious addiction to opiates.” But now Sparxxx is looking forward to putting out his new album in late summer, and his upcoming wedding to former Miss Iowa USA Katie Connors on May 21st.

“I love her to death,” he says.

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