For fans of: Wiz Halifa, Tupac (“if he grew up in Harlem”)
Who he is: Joshua Davis-Henry credits his parents (acclaimed musician Vincent Henry and pioneering nightclub promoter Maria Davis) for infusing his soul with classic and contemporary R&B as a child. Today the progressive hip-hop artist draws from A Tribe Called Quest, Frank Zappa and “everything in between” to create his original sound — whether rocking with a live band or laying down his original lyrics over innovative tracks. He has described his sound as “eclectic yet thought-provoking. The only way to broaden people’s minds is by widening their scope.” His first album, “SkotchTape,” scored more than 126,000 downloads and counting; he’s currently recording the sequel: “On My Grizzly: Skotch Tape 2.”
Catch him: Sat., at 6:30 p.m. , Gramercy Theater, 127 E. 23rd St., $27.
For fans of: Lauryn Hill, Talib Kweli
Who they are: Tsidi Ibrahim (stage name Jean Grae) was born in South Africa, but she’s a New Yorker through and through. She studied at the LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and majored in music business at NYU, laying her foundation as a hip-hop writer and producer. She fi rst took the stage in the mid-’90s, joining rap group Natural Resource and producing singles under the name What? What? before taking on the Jean Grae moniker and releasing “Attack of the Attacking Things” in 2002 and the critically acclaimed “Jeanius” in 2008. She has fallen off the radar some since then, but is reemerging to promote her follow up LP, “Cake or Death,” which she’s working on now.
Catch her: Sat. at 9 p.m. , Music Hall of Williamsburg, 66 N. Sixth St., Brooklyn, $25.
For fans of: Ghostface Killah, Kool G Rap
Who he is: Many rappers brag about their skills in the bedroom, but this red-bearded rhymer from Flushing often shows off his skills in the kitchen (courtesy of a culinary degree from the Art Institute of New York City and his term working at the Roti Boti restaurant). Action Bronson’s hilarious raps also range from trash-talking (a throwback to the mid-’90s) to heroicizing sports figures. His debut album, “Dr. Lecter,” hit this year, and Stereogum also dubbed him a best new band of 2011.
Catch him: Fri. at 11 p.m., Highline Ballroom, 431 W. 16th St., $22; Sat. at 9 p.m, Santos Party House, 96 Lafayette St., free with RSVP.