Brooklyn’s Theophilus London is getting more attention in the U.K. than his hometown, but his hardworking self-promotion might change that. He’s followed up last year’s self-released This Charming Mixtape with the Marvin Gaye–inspired I Want You, another free installment of almost lazily smooth rapping and a little crooning atop vintage soul and ’80s pop sounds. Catch him tonight at Girls & Boys with the South Bronx’s Joseph Saddler (a/k/a Grandmaster Flash), who helped change music forever with seminal hip-hop hits such as “Superrappin’,” “Freedom,” “The Message,” and, yes, “The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel.” He’s never lost the magic touch. With residents Alex English, Rekles, Kids with Snakes and Gavin Royce, plus DJ Ray Roc in the Marlin Ballroom and Trash with DJ Jess and Alex Malfunction in the Studio.
Fri., Aug. 20, 10 p.m., 2010