James Blake’s decade-long music career has seen the English singer-songwriter-producer emerge from the ether of post-dubstep experimentation to become a go-to collaborator for everyone from Beyoncé and André 3000 to Kendrick Lamar and Rosalía. In 2019, he lived up to the title of his album “Assume Form,” becoming a full-on pop artist that could handle the weight of R&B and hip-hop, while keeping his idiosyncratic style intact. From the first tastes of “Friends That Break Your Heart” (out Friday), it sounds like Blake is pushing his woozy constructions to their limits, getting operatic and orchestral on “Say What You Will” and “Famous Last Words,” respectively. On the album’s cover, his jigsawed visage lies in the grass — either a heartbroken Humpty Dumpty or pop music’s missing piece. Tuesday at 8 p.m. at the Anthem. theanthemdc.com. $45-$150.
Precious few producer-DJs can condense the entire space-time continuum of diasporic dance music into one song, album or set like Kaytranada. The 29-year-old traverses funk and disco to house and techno to hip-hop and Afrobeat, weaving together dance floor dreams and breakbeats that echo through the ages into music that shuffles, stutters and struts. He’s done it on a pair of nearly perfect, star-studded albums (the latest, “Bubba,” won the Grammy for best dance/electronic album) and on productions for fellow travelers including Chance the Rapper, Kali Uchis, Anderson .Paak and Tinashe. While those co-stars probablywon’t show up, their voices are likely to ring out during a night of soul-nourishing dance music. Wednesday at 8 p.m. at the Anthem. theanthemdc.com. $40.
Benny the Butcher
Of all the metropolitan centers that have — at one time or another — been the capital of gangsta rap, the frosty Buffalo is an unlikely contender. But for the past half-decade or so, the city’s Griselda Records crew has been churning out grimy Mafioso rap that would make Scarface (the rapper or the film character) proud. Alongside Westside Gunn and Conway the Machine, the uber-prolific Benny the Butcher has established himself as one of rap’s great classicists, delivering trunks full of bars heavy with lived-in detail over boom-bap beats and crate-dug samples. The 36-year-old is an unlikely star in a world full of Drakes, but the Butcher wears his outsider status as a badge of honor: “Real stories ’bout drug money got me etched in stone / By the time they learn to love me, I’ll be dead and gone.” Wednesday at 8 p.m. at Fillmore Silver Spring. fillmoresilverspring.com. $35-$150.
Note: Proof of vaccination or a recent negative coronavirus test is required for admittance to these shows. Check venue websites for specifics.