The North Carolina-based duo Actual Proof (Sundown and Enigma) released their fourth mixtape/album Black Boy Radio Tuesday via DJBooth.net. The project houses 17 tracks and 3 bonus cuts with artist features from Raheem DeVaughn, Camp Lo, Bluu Suede and in house TP, Heather Victoria, Rapsody and 9th Wonder (or 9thmatic). Production includes: 9th Wonder, the JAMLA production team the Soul Council (Eric G., Amp, Khrysis, E. Jones, Ka$h and Fatin), Hi-Tek and others.
Concept is king.
Just as the title shows possession, Black Boy Radio seems to represent more than a sound box or a memory of jams from childhood, but a symbol of hope. In the proverbial track “Black Boy Radio,” Enigma voices: “I loved it so I nicknamed it Black Boy Radio,” all together recounting the importance. Throughout Black Boy Radio are commercials, ads and news blips as the record progresses; which, lineally depict the childhood of a young black boy through the fuzzy channels on his radio.
Furthermore, somewhat lucidly reveals the boy’s quest to find himself as the channel halts briefly with: “I would say the first thing they should do is not try and imitate, but get their own style…they’re individual players with individual styles” (which sounds like an excerpt from a children’s program Ed Sullivan Show); arguably, drawing parallels to their [Sundown and Enigma] journey of defining themselves in Actual Proof and apart from Actual Proof.
Outside production keeps Actual Proof in the pocket.
Most of the record’s table was set by in house production (Soul Council) which created a seemingly flawless transition between each track. However, enlisting outside production (Hi-Tek, Dre Brown and DJ SemaJ) was instrumental in breaking up the monotony; ultimately, making these tracks the most strongest. Hi-Tek flourished a more free style and influenced the duos comfortable posture in Fonk it Up and Fonk it Up (Reprise) with an uneven beat forcing a slouched flow.
Actual Proof are finally in their zone. My top project from the group was the first mixtape The Free EP, because it was not overdone. Just two newcomers running over each track taking turns in a ping-pong fashion; basically, having fun. Black Boy Radio is the ignorance of The Free EP and the maturation of Actual Proof; a perfect blend.
Black Boy Radio available for purchase on iTunes.