Review Summary: Despite what the cover would suggest, this isn't epically terrible. But, Pen & Pixel, you guys suck.
In 2nd grade, we were all taught to never judge a book by its cover. I ignored that rule, but I presume it could be morphed into "don't judge an album by its cover." Obviously, I break that rule, too. A classmate once posted the cover of Big Bear's Doin Thangs
as his Facebook profile picture and I laughed and mocked Big Bear, and thought that it was probably the worst album ever. Boy, was I wrong. Of course, this doesn't mean much. Alongside many No Limit rappers, Three 6 Mafia side projects, and various Pen & Pixel clients, Big Bear is one of many 90's southern rappers whom's album sales took a hit from atrocious/hysterical album covers. That's not to say Big Bear isn't any good - because he's not - but he sure isn't epically terrible, like one could presume he would be.
But that's not where the similarities end. In the 1990's southern hip-hop scene, two cities loomed over the rather neglected region: Atlanta and Houston. Whilst Atlanta derived itself from soul with acts like Outkast and Goodie Mob, Houston formed itself from funk with groups like UGK and Geto Boys. Metaphorically, the former represented the church and the latter represented the project building. But, despite being a Houstonian, Big Bear fused both.
Reliant on heavy funk instrumentals tinted with R&B/Soul, a fairly uptempo flow and a swaggering voice, Big Bear crafts deep, thick, and brooding soundscapes. But the problem is that he's weak in the lyrical department. It's not that he opts to go with the criminal bravado element (to which he occasionally tinges with rather unconvincing references to struggle, hate and religion.) It's that he's devoid of any lyrical dexterity whatsoever. While his lyrics aren't bad, they're definitely not good. He is unable to drop a punchline that is anything other than hilariously average ("My clicks harda than dicks,") conjure up any concrete form of imagery ("They on the weanie, rubbin' my balls...") or weave a cohesive, no less good
, story (your pick.)
I wasn't wowed, and my suspicions weren't confirmed, but Doin Thangs
isn't really worth the time frame it runs (the average song time is in between three-and-a-half and five minutes) or the distributing deal it managed to ink. A mediocre representation of two styles of southern rap in the 90's, Doin Thangs
isn't worth its weight, and the only 'thang' it's 'doin' is getting laughed at for its cover.