DaBaby Headlines This Week’s Must-See Acts

Dababy at The Warfield on Thursday, Rybo & Lubelski at Halycon on Friday and PLAID at Gray Area on Saturday.

Hip-hop

DaBaby

8 p.m., Dec. 19, at The Warfield. $49.50; thewarfieldtheatre.com

Culminating his breakout 2019 with a hypnotic SNL performance, DaBaby’s ascent from a hip-hop outsider to one of the genre’s brightest stars seems surprising on the surface, but the artist’s charismatic presence and razor-sharp delivery makes it easy to hear why the rapper dominates every track he performs on. Born Jonathan Lyndale Kirk, the Charlotte-raised MC first started rapping at 22 years old and quickly drew attention from the internet due to his intense and surreal live shows, including a notorious appearance at South by Southwest where he showed up wearing nothing but a diaper and a pair of Jordans. Despite his sometimes goofy and meme-worthy public persona, DaBaby has always maintained a keen sense of self-awareness that allowed him to evolve his artistry. After signing with Interscope earlier this year, DaBaby released his debut album Baby on Baby in March, a delightfully-crude and confrontational thirty minutes of kinetic trap that earned commercial and critical acclaim. The rapper would quickly follow up his debut with last month’s KIRK, which continues the anarchistic attitude of Baby on Baby with shattering beats and energetic flow, but adds new layers of lyrical and emotional depth with standout tracks like “Intro” and “Gospel.”

Photo by Jamie Rosenberg

Dance

Rybo & Lubelski 

10 p.m., Dec. 20, at Halcyon. $10; halcyon-sf.com

Two friends and frequent collaborators who are the masterminds behind the rising L.A. house and techno label Percomaniacs, Rybo and Lubelski plan to shred the dancefloor together in a back-to-back set. An audio engineer, producer, and audiophile, Lubelski’s mastery of electronic music’s richest sonic territory has made him a bold and refreshing presence in the underground dance community. Lubelski’s year overall has been productive to say the least, with multiple collaborative EPs released along with a recent Dirtybird-released single “Impulse Control,” shining as one of the producer’s best tracks yet. Best known as a mainstay in the Desert Hearts crew, Rybo first turned heads with funky and bass-infused tracks like “Jones’n” and “Bobby,” in addition to acclaimed DJ sets at festivals like BPM and Costa Rica’s Ocaso. The incomparable synergy produced between the two producers in the studio and on stage allows for some entrancing doses of percussion-smacked tech house, including their 2018 instant classic “Favela Funk.” 

Courtesy of Arist

Electronic

Plaid

9 p.m., Dec. 21, at Gray Area. $25; grayarea.org

Legends within the IDM world who have long explored the constantly-shifting space between synthesized and organic sound, Plaid have mastered the art of creating electronic music meant for headphones on a solitary night indoors. Born out of experimental techno group The Black Dog, Andy Turner and Ed Handley came together as Plaid in the early 90s, and became a staple in the revolutionary electronic music label Warp’s lineup. The duo would mystify yet amaze curious listeners over the course of nearly three decades and ten studio albums, including avant-electronic masterpieces like 1997’s Not for Threes and 2001’s Double Figure. On their latest album Polymer, released in June, the pair tinker with complex and occasionally harsh beats coupled with moments of atmospheric beauty, thematically exploring the role synthetic materials have in society. Using the ideas explored on Polymer, Plaid’s new audiovisual show utilizes custom technology, including three-dimensional images, for a mesmerizing sensory experience.

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