Rap/R&B star PnB Rock headlines Garde Saturday

PnB Rock performs in concert during the Power 99 Powerhouse 2016 at the Wells Fargo Center on Friday, Oct. 28, 2016, in Philadelphia. (Photo by Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP)
PnB Rock performs in concert during the Power 99 Powerhouse 2016 at the Wells Fargo Center on Friday, Oct. 28, 2016, in Philadelphia. (Photo by Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP)

Listening to "Jealous," one of the breakout tunes by Philadelphia's hip hop/R&B artist PnB Rock, a perhaps not-hip listener can learn that Balmain and Margiela are firms that make and sell expensive clothing and shoes. And, if the song's indeed accurate, both Rock and guest rapper Fetty Wap can afford plenty of both; each claims to always have "a hundred thou" on his person. He's also "allergic to broke (n-words)."

On another materialistic hit, "Range Rover," Rock claims that, "Rollie all on my wrist/B*tch I ball no assist/Smoking weed by the zip/Whole squad yeah we lit." However, for all of Rock's (let's admit it) not particularly original boasting, his actual delivery, melodies and production frequently push toward mellow ballad atmospherics along with a significant reliance on auto-tuned vocal flourishes.

If that all seems a bit incongruous and/or weary, well, the recipe seems to be working.

Fueled by a 2015 self-released mix tape called "Real N*gga Bangaz," which he wrote while in prison, Rock began to garner national attention and signed with Atlantic. More successful mix tapes and collaborations followed, and his official debut album, "Catch These Vibes," comes out Nov. 17.

It's a great opportunity, then, to see Rock when he headlines the Garde Arts Center in New London Saturday. And you're right: this is an intriguing and cool booking at this hallowed venue.

PnB Rock, 9 p.m. Saturday, Garde Arts Center, 325 State St., New London; $29-$110; (860) 444-7373, gardearts.org.

PnB Rock poses for photographers backstage during the Power 99 Powerhouse 2016 at the Wells Fargo Center on Friday, Oct. 28, 2016, in Philadelphia. (Photo by Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP)
PnB Rock poses for photographers backstage during the Power 99 Powerhouse 2016 at the Wells Fargo Center on Friday, Oct. 28, 2016, in Philadelphia. (Photo by Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP)

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