Brandy hasn’t released an album since 2012, but the singer-actress has stayed busy, most notably by portraying murderous chorus girl Roxie Hart in “Chicago” on Broadway and beyond, including a stint at the Kennedy Center in 2017. When she returns to the D.C. performing arts center for a two-night stand, it will be in an even more familiar role: R&B chanteuse. But instead of focusing on the hits of her quarter-century career, she’ll be joined by the National Symphony Orchestra, putting an orchestral spin on classics by other soul-music mononyms like Aretha, Etta, Stevie and — naturally — Whitney.
Jan. 25 and 26 at 8 p.m. at the Kennedy Center. $39-$139.
Nile Rodgers has left his fingerprints — and that distinctive, “chucking” guitar style — over four decades of pop music. First, he helped lead the disco revolution with Chic, laying down “Le Freak” and “Good Times” and producing hits for Diana Ross and Sister Sledge. In the 1980s, he worked with Madonna and David Bowie, and soon, his songs would find new life as the sample bed for hip-hop. Then, a few years ago, he was back in vogue, assisting Daft Punk, Disclosure and a new generation of dance floor freaks with his magic touch. For Rodgers, the “Good Times” have never ended.
Jan. 26 at 8 p.m. at the Theater at MGM National Harbor. $69.50-$89.50.
Memphis rap is having a moment, with newcomers BlocBoy JB and Key Glock making waves, and Three 6 Mafia interpolations turning up in songs by 21 Savage and A$AP Ferg, to name a few. No one has benefited more from the Grind City spotlight than Young Dolph. At 33 with a decade of mix tapes under his belt, Dolph is practically an elder statesman, but his gruff-and-tough approach to trunk-rattling trap rap is very de rigueur. His sex-money-drug-heavy punchlines pack heat, and, most of all, his come-up feels earned. “I turned dirt into diamonds,” he raps, “that’s major.”
Jan. 29 at 8 p.m. at Fillmore Silver Spring. $29.50.
As far as genre names go, there are few better than “cloud rap,” an ephemeral micro-scene midwifed by the Internet at the turn of the decade. What better way to describe the sound’s ethereal, atmospheric vibes and sky-high, spaced-out raps? Producer Clams Casino didn’t come up with the moniker, but he was one of its key architects, plotting woozy beats for then-nascent rappers A$AP Rocky and Lil B. Since then, the 31-year-old New Jerseyan has worked with everyone from Vince Staples and Danny Brown to Kelela and Future Islands frontman Sam Herring, proving himself to be more than just part of a short-lived fad.
Jan. 30 at 9 p.m. (doors) at Flash. $15.