“We are the tribe that they cannot see,” a disembodied voice declares at the opening to A Tribe Called Red’s 2016 album, “We Are the Halluci Nation.” The Canadian hip-hop-electronic act hasn’t released a project since then, but its sociopolitical themes have traveled well. The duo — 2oolman and Bear Witness, both of whom are indigenous people — have said they feel a responsibility to shine a light on the issues facing their community. They inject their most thunderous music with scathing critiques and elevate their lighter tracks with messages of uplift and inclusion, but their percussive mix persists at a roar. A party with A Tribe Called Red is a party with a purpose. Oct. 26 at 9 p.m. (doors) at U Street Music Hall. $15-$20.
Fans with a VIP ticket to see Michael Christmas will also be treated to a round of “Mario Kart” with the witty Boston rapper. It’s a fitting perk — the rapper’s music strikes a pleasant balance between lighthearted smack talk and introspective musings. His latest album, “Role Model,” feeds his nostalgic impulses — dreams of making it and awkward love letters abound — as he tries to figure himself out with the impressionable eyes of his little sisters watching his every move. In Christmas’s hands, the prospect of being a role model sounds less like trying to be perfect and more like the fun of realizing it’s impossible. Oct 26 at 8 p.m. at Songbyrd. $15-$50.
Stories of addiction tend to end tragically, but not Ruston Kelly’s. When the Nashville singer-songwriter was ensnared in the chaos of drug use, he turned to music as a way out. His rugged, vulnerable voice lends itself to the unguarded storytelling of his latest album, “Dying Star.” He turns his tragedies into tongue-in-cheek phrases — the contemplative opener is “Cover My Tracks”; another, about hitting rock bottom, is titled “Faceplant.” Suffering may be an artist’s greatest inspiration, but Kelly’s redemption is the real song worth singing. Oct. 27 at 8 p.m. at Jammin Java. $13.75-$26.75.
When Tori Kelly burst into the spotlight, she was a bright-eyed pop artist making sunny love songs. The singer-songwriter’s 2015 debut album, “Unbreakable Smile,” yielded a fruitful period in which she performed at the Billboard Awards, the MTV Video Music Awards and the 2016 Grammys, where she was a nominee for best new artist. With her latest release, “Hiding Place,” Kelly has traded the songwriting of Swedish pop powerhouse Max Martin for that of gospel icon Kirk Franklin. “Hiding Place” is an easygoing Christian album, and Kelly’s voice is well suited for the acrobatic performance that informs much of the genre. Her church roots shine brilliantly. Oct. 28 at 8 p.m. at the Warner Theatre. Sold out.